Albert Lea Historical Downtown Walking Tour

Immerse yourself into the historic district of Albert Lea, Minnesota with this self-guided tour.

Albert Lea Historical Downtown Walking Tour

Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007, United States

Created By: Freeborn County Historical Museum

Tour Information

Throughout the historic district in Albert Lea you will find a unique blend of architectural styles from the late 1800s to early 1900s. These sites helped shape the city of Albert Lea and Freeborn County.

The Historic Walking Tour could be completed in about an hour. However we encourage you to stop and explore the many shops, grab a bite to eat, or imbibe in a cold beverage at one of the local restaurants, it would make good use of an entire morning or afternoon. If you decide to take a few detours, this adventure through historic downtown Albert Lea could stretch into an entire day.

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

Firemen's Hall and Masonic Lodge, 147 North Broadway Built in 1909-1910, this building housed the city's fire department on the ground level and the Masonic Temple on the upper floor. The rest of the building served at one time as the "Idle... Read more
Wedge-Spicer Drug Store, 104 South Broadway One of the oldest masonry structures in Albert Lea, built 1874, the building has housed several drug and variety stores. There was once a barber shop in the basement, customers entered by an outs... Read more
The Wiegand Building, 202 South Broadway This building was home to Citizen's National Bank and was completed in 1892. This Richardsonian Romanesque inspired design was created by C. A. Dunham, architect. Particularly notable is the balcony ... Read more
Bessesen Opera House, 224 South Broadway The Bessesen Opera House was designed by St. Paul architects Cederberg and Van Kirk. Constructed in 1916, this building was designed as a 740-seat opera palace to showcase the talents of internatio... Read more
Syndicate Block, 244 South Broadway Built in 1888, the brick elements which corbelled away from the side wall of this once elegant Romanesque style Syndicate Block were removed because of deterioration. The front facade once covered by ceda... Read more
Carnegie Library, 146 West College Street Built in 1903 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie, this red-brick building was designed in a distinctive Beaux-Arts style by Schick and Ross, architects from La Crosse, Wisconsin. The basement story... Read more
Tribune Building, 408 South Broadway Constructed before 1886, this building was originally smaller and had an Italianate-style facade. After the newspaper office moved into the building in 1904, a two-story addition was made to the south ... Read more
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Depot, 606 South Broadway The Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul, and Pacific, a typical example of a small train station, was one of four which served Albert Lea in the era of train travel.... Read more
Freeborn County Courthouse, 411 South Broadway Built in 1887, the Court House is "a highly original essay in Richardsonian Romanesque, especially in the great tower and the sculpture of four "dogs of the Nile" ready to leap from the buildin... Read more
Skinner Chamberlain 227 South Broadway Built in 1924-25, this building has served a variety of purposes, predominately of the department store type. This four story building contains red wire faced brick and terra cotta tile trim of white a... Read more
Henry J. Harm Jewelry, 211 South Broadway Henry J. Harm, a former mayor of Albert Lea, commissioned the architects of Larson and McLaren of Minneapolis to design a building to replace his jewelry store that burned down in 1922. Built by Tap... Read more
Albert Lea State Bank Building, 201 S. Broadway Built in 1923 by the Tapager Construction Company of Albert Lea. Similar to its neighbor, this building is elegantly decorated with cream colored terra cotta and has a marble façade.  Built ... Read more
First National Bank Building, 139 S. Broadway Brick masonry was used instead of the usual stone for detail on this structure built in 1902-1903. The classical style of this commercial building is enhanced by the decorative archways and rece... Read more
Home Improvement Building, 141 East William At various periods throughout its history, this had been called the Home Improvemtn Building, the Hyde Building and the Lea Center. Constructed between 1915 and 1916, this six-story building is t... Read more
Albert Lea Post Office, 141 South Newton Constructed in 1936-1937 under the jurisdiction of the Works Progress Administration, this reinforced-concrete building is an excellent example of the Moderne architecture used by the federal gover... Read more
Commercial Building, 222 East Clark Built between 1910 and 1918, this dark-red-brick two-story building has a rectangular plan. The storefront contains a centered display window flanked by two doorways.  This building was originally const... Read more
Southern Minnesota Gas and Electric Company Building, 100 North Broadway The Southern Minnesota Gas and Electric Company Building built in 1923 was sold a year later to the Interstate Power Company. Detailed with a strong Italian influence,... Read more
Morlea Daily Building, 132 North Broadway This structure was built in 1919 for the Morlea Dairy. There are several ice cream cones etched onto the upper portion of the building Albert Lea Milk Company was started by brothers Henry and Rober... Read more
City Hall, 202 North Broadway Built in 1903 to house the police station and fire house, this masomy two-story structure with arches is of Romanesque design. The original building was topped with a half circle of brick above the present roof... Read more


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to