In common with many other cities, the actual cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have a very different character and different housing stock to the suburbs.
Housing in the Cities of Minneapolis and St. PaulMost housing stock in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul is at least 50 years old, with a small amount of new construction. In the downtown areas, there are condos and apartments in high-rise buildings, and plenty of converted warehouses and industrial buildings.
The older residential neighborhoods in the Cities date from the late 19th century and early twentieth century. Housing in these neighborhoods are mixes of smaller single-family houses, larger houses, many of which have been converted into duplexes or four-plexes. There are many smaller apartment buildings, usually around 10-20 units in size. Uptown Minneapolis and Merriam Park in St. Paul are typical. The oldest parts of the Twin Cities surround the downtown areas, the lakes in Minneapolis, and along Summit Avenue in St. Paul.
Although there are many lovely homes in the Twin Cities, residential Midwestern architecture won't give you much to get excited about. Plain Victorian style, wood cabinetry and hardwood floors are standard features in most homes of this period. Some homes have an minimal, elegant style, some are simply square boxes. It's a good, plain base for your decor, no matter what style you favor.
Newer parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul, built in the middle of the twentieth century, are mostly smaller single family homes.
Housing in the Minneapolis/St. Paul SuburbsOutside Minneapolis and St. Paul, first ring suburbs such as St. Louis Park and Roseville, were developed in the 1960s and 1970s and mostly consist of single family homes from that period. Luckily, Residential Midwestern architecture didn't get any more exciting and 1970s monstrosities are unusual.
Second ring and outer suburbs have almost exclusively newer housing. The Twin Cities are one of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation and to keep pace with demand, much new construction has been taking place in the suburbs. Larger single family homes are being built in suburbs such as Anoka and Woodbury. The suburbs also have many modern apartment complexes and condo developments offering more spacious homes than in the center of the cities. Residential Midwestern architecture, to date, has still not become exciting, and you'll find many more square boxes out in the suburbs.