Winona County History Center

Addition Enhances Character Of 1915 Armory

Located in Winona’s downtown historic district overlooking the Mississippi River bluffs, the Laird Norton Addition enhances the distinctive character of the Winona County History Center’s 1915 Armory while establishing a welcoming presence that beckons patrons with permanent and changing exhibits, public programming and community outreach. The three-level, 12,400 SF addition includes lobby and gift store, 2nd-floor multipurpose room, catering kitchen, partial Armory remodeling, and lower-level artifacts storage.

The addition’s street-level facade features a contemporary colonnade clad in a roman brick that blends with the existing Armory. The copper-clad second level multipurpose room features expansive windows and an adjacent outdoor terrace. From the terrace, visitors view the downtown streetscape and out toward the Mississippi River bluffs.

Exterior up-lighting between the corbelled brick colonnade emphasizes the façade’s rhythmic pattern. Interior spaces take advantage of natural lighting and exterior views through the full-height lobby windows and various-scaled windows on the second level. Warm accent lighting highlights a perforated wood lobby wall, which screens a staircase leading to the second level.


Rochester, MN

Building Type

History Center


12,400 SF

  • 2011 North American Copper in Architecture Award
  • 2011 Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Honor Award
  • 2011 IES/IIDA Regional Guth Award for Interior Lighting Design
  • 2010 The Wood Design & Building Citation Award (national)
  • 2010 AIA Minnesota Honor Award

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