Cedar-Riverside Professional Review and Guide
"Cedar-Riverside has an enduring history as one of the Twin Cities’ great ethnic salad bowls. It has also been an exemplar of a combined commercial and residential area, albeit for the working class or working poor, throughout each historic epoch. The triangle-shaped community is nestled between the Mississippi River, University of Minnesota, and two important interstate highways, I-35W and I-94. Diverse groups of people over the years have resided and shopped in the area sometimes referred to as the West Bank. Scandinavians dominated the neighborhood, particularly the business district on Cedar Ave., from the 1890s until the Great Depression. The neighborhood seriously declined after World War II. Large portions of its decaying housing were demolished to make room for interstate highways and the expansion of the University of Minnesota (U of M) on the west bank of the Mississippi River in the 1960s. The proximity to U of M and inexpensive housing inspired a burgeoning counterculture. The various modalities of the area’s hippie past are readily apparent in the restaurants and stores—many originating from the early ’70s punks, radicals, and reformers turned businesspeople. Since the early 1990s, immigrant groups, particularly the Somalis, have moved into the neighborhood’s rental units and have created their own thriving businesses. The Cedar-Riverside community has become increasingly appealing because of its diversity—a neighborhood of old hippies, college kids, and recent immigrants—and easy accessibility by the Hiawatha Light-Rail Transit Line. Genuine counterculture and ongoing immigration history come alive on the streets of Cedar-Riverside."