Over 50 years ago, the goal of many people in a large metropolitan areas was to move from the inner city and live in the suburbs. Did you know that in 1950, approximately 70 percent of people in the Twin Cities metro area lived in either Minneapolis or St. Paul? By 2010, that figure had dropped to 20 percent. This dramatic shift from cities to suburbs took hold across the country and is seen by many historians as one of the most important events in US history.

(Suburbs circa 1950s-Getty Images)

What drew people to the suburbs in the first place? Did reality reflect the dream of suburban living? And what does suburbia look like today? Visitors can explore these concepts, plus take in the changing styles of home building and interior design, in the new exhibit, “Suburbia,” running Oct. 10th through March 20th  2016, at the Minnesota History Center, St. Paul.

Through firsthand accounts, immersive settings, multimedia interactives and vibrant displays, visitors can explore the lives of the people who moved to the suburbs, those who were excluded, and all the people in between. “In 1959, the average age of marriage was 19,” said Ellen Miller, exhibit developer. “Today, millennials are delaying the age of marriage and opting to live in the urban core. By looking back at suburban America, we hope to spark conversations about how the ideal of the ‘American Dream’ is changing.”

Location and Hours
The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773. 

Admission to “Suburbia” is included with regular History Center admission of $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, $6 ages 6 to 17; free age 5 and under and MNHS members. 

About the Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center holds the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. The History Center is home to an innovative museum, engaging public programs, a modern library, distinctive gift shops and an award-winning restaurant.