MnDOT and the Hennepin History Museum co-hosted a discussion Oct. 10 led by public historians Greg Donofrio and Denise Pike at Hope Community in Minneapolis. Their research is focused on highway planning in the 1950s and 60s and the long-term social and economic impacts that came with the construction of Interstate 35W.
The night began with a video the University of Minnesota Public Heritage program created that highlighted the responses and discussion of the freeway construction found in public archives. After the screening, Sophie Hunt with the Hennepin History Museum moderated a discussion with the historians on their research to date.
The last portion of the evening was dedicated to audience questions and storytelling. Throughout the night, Denise and Greg encouraged guests to come forward with stories from family members, friends, and community members whose stories of the I-35W construction have not been shared yet. The next portion of their research will be dedicated to finding oral histories of the experiences of those who were displaced or impacted during freeway construction.