Hiawatha Golf Course designated in National Register of Historic Places

The National Park Service has announced the Hiawatha Golf Course in Minneapolis will be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

"The National Register designation of the Hiawatha Golf Course, an action we first called for on March 1, 2022, reaffirms the cultural and historic significance of the site," said the Cultural Landscape Foundation President and CEO Charles A. Birnbaum in a statement. "The designation, which reminds us that African American history is American history, includes important information about Hiawatha that we believe is essential to any decision-making process about the course’s future."

The Cultural Landscape Foundation says Hiawatha was the first golf course in the upper Midwest to admit Black golfers in the late 1930s. 

It has since been designated as an "at-risk cultural landscape" after the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) approved a plan to overhaul the course after a major flood in 2014. Since then, the golf course has pumped millions of gallons of groundwater into Hiawatha Lake, to the dismay of environmentalists.

The plan would reduce the 18-hole course to nine holes, and include other amenities, like BMX trails and a dog patio, to address flooding issues.

Previously, the MPRB voted to rename the clubhouse at the Hiawatha Golf Course after pioneering Black golfer Solomon Hughes.