The Fawkes Building was built in 1911 and housed the first automobile showroom in Minneapolis. Cars were hand-made by L. H. Fawkes, a former blacksmith and builder of bicycles. Since rail transit is limited to flat surfaces, a major selling point for car salesmen was the hilly terrain of Kenwood that borders Loring Park and proved ideal for test drives. Another advantage for salesmen was the proximity of wealthy patrons whose mansions were built on or near what is now Loring Park. As the city’s emerging automobile industry grew, so did car dealerships on or near this block, making it the heart of the industry throughout the first half of the twentieth century.Other original tenants of the Fawkes Building (actually a cluster of buildings) include Northwestern Lumbermen’s Association, the League of Women Voters, and several prominent architects. In 1951, Reverend Billy Graham rented his first office at the Fawkes before moving to the 1300 block of Hennepin. Adjoining properties were the original homes to two well-known local businesses – Roycraft Company and Gold Bond Stamps. The Fawkes Building overlooks Loring Park (formerly named Central Park). What is now the park’s Community Arts Center originally provided shelter for lost animals and the city’s draft horses.Today the Fawkes Building serves as hub for an impressive variety of creative artists and entrepreneurs. The properties continue to benefit from their distinct location – only minutes away from downtown Minneapolis, with easy access to three major interstate highways. Bordering the properties are the Basilica of St. Mary, the first basilica established in the United States, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College which boasts one of the most diverse student populations in Minnesota. The Walker Museum and Sculpture Garden are just across the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, which spans Hennepin and Lyndale and joins these landmarks to the Loring Corners area.