Hornig Companies has some unique properties that provide interesting insights into local history.
The Belmont, located in the historic Lowry Hill neighborhood of Minneapolis near the Hornig Companies’ Home Office, sits on the corner of West Franklin and Hennepin Ave South. The “Belmont Inn,” as it was originally known, opened in 1920 and was built as an “Apartment Hotel,” a style of living that was popular for a short time in the early 1900’s. Residents could rent an apartment for a day, a week or by the month and receive the amenities of fully furnished units, housekeeping services as well as garage services. Built by the Fleischer Brothers, who also built the Calhoun Beach Club, the building was a popular winter home for families who owned summer cabins on Lake Minnetonka.
At its prime, the lower level boasted a dinner and dance hall, a continental bath and beauty shop with mineral steam baths, a barber shop and a billiard & club room. Because it was built in the Prohibition Era, a tunnel that led from the lower level under the street has raised questions about whether the residents and guests of the establishments participated in prohibition activities. Nobody knows for sure! Today, most of the lower level has turned into apartments and the tunnel has been sealed along with any secrets it held. The restored basement dance hall remains as a community space for residents and Hornig Companies’ events (during non-COVID times).
Today, the Belmont is still a special place to call home. Residents can easily walk, bus, bike or drive to nearby lakes, popular restaurants, grocery and retail, downtown Minneapolis, The Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden. The apartments feature a unique blend of classic touches such as hardwood floors, new and fully restored French doors and windows, along with modern conveniences including updated kitchens, solar panels to provide common area electricity, ample storage space, onsite laundry and off-street parking.
Though improvements have been made and elements changed, the charm and character of the building remain to this day. Even now, when you walk into the lobby, you can see the original hotel reception desk, a reminder of the building’s storied past.
An early ad for the building
The Belmont today