Mrs. Alma K. Howard, civic leader and president of Howard Lumber Company died, January 21, at age 91. Her home, built about 1915, at 4100 Quail Avenue, was in many details typical of the Prairie School of Architecture, as first sketched by Frank Lloyd Wright. Her husband, Thomas, was president of the First Robbinsdale State Bank Home of T. P. Howard, 1921-53 and a charter member of the Lions Club. The home was later occupied by another bank president, Kenneth Sheehan of First Bank Robbinsdale.
In March, the last of the original houses in Robbinsdale was torn down. It had been built in 1854, it is believed, by J. S. Malbon on the south side of 40th Avenue, a third of a block west of Broadway. It was small, had an addition, and in the opinion of the Minnesota Historical Society wasn’t worth preserving. (Land office records record “U.S. to J. S. Malbon, Nov. 27, 1854 – 117.30 acres.”)
The Robbinsdale HRA, previously devoted only to the “scattered site” housing program and the senior citizen building, was now beginning economic redevelopment. Land, including that of the oldest house, was cleared for the Wilder office building and the Kay Marie and Carol Dance Studio. A state law, passed in 1971, permitted Robbinsdale, along with Minneapolis, to use tax increment bonding for the renewal of commercial areas.
This post is part of a series loosely based on the book Robbinsdale Then and Now by Helen Blodgett.