Red Wing Shoes Recognized for Historic Preservation

The Red Wing Shoe Company has been selected to receive an award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, recognizing the century-old shoe company’s dedication to historic preservation.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, a non-profit organization, has been awarding Minnesota Preservation Awards for 29 years as a way of honoring exceptional preservation projects across the state of Minnesota. The Red Wing Shoe Company was selected for an award due to the company’s sustainable contribution to the economic development and historical preservation of downtown Red Wing.

“The Red Wing Shoe Company is very proud to be recognized with the Minnesota Preservation  Award,” said Clare Pavelka, the Red Wing Shoe Company’s head Archivist. Pavelka has been working for years to secure and archive artifacts from the company’s past in order to preserve the heritage of Red Wing Shoes and its hometown. “The city of Red Wing has a magnificent historic downtown. Anyone who has visited or lives here will agree. Red Wing Shoes started with their first factory downtown and that’s where we still are today. We want to contribute to the historic ideals that the community has worked so hard to preserve.”

The shoe company owns five historic properties in the downtown district of Red Wing, including their original factory built in 1905. The Red Wing Shoe Company has made renovations and restorations to all their properties while diligently working to maintain the historic integrity of both the company and their buildings. Historic exhibits are prominent in all of the company’s buildings, including a 1929 Ford Model A in the lobby of their corporate headquarters that was used decades ago as a company delivery vehicle.

The Red Wing Shoe Company also maintains their Shoe Museum, open to the public inside Red Wing Shoes’ flagship store on Main Street in Red Wing. The museum offers an insight into the  history of the company and showcases standout moments from their past.

An award ceremony will be held by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota on September 27th at Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis to present the Minnesota Preservation Awards to recipients.

“The Red Wing Shoe Company has a long history of preservation,” said Pavelka. “We’re still using machines we were using over eighty years ago to build our boots. Our past is a part of our future in a very real way. The company takes care of its heritage and the heritage of our hometown and it’s an honor to be recognized for doing something we feel is so important.”