Thompson Hall
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Thompson Hall (1916) Saint Paul, Minnesota

Charles Thompson Memorial Hall was constructed in 1916 as a free and open meeting place for Minnesota’s deaf community. The building was designed by Olof Hanson, the nation’s first deaf architect. Hanson’s design provided for good, natural interior lighting and open sightlines between rooms to enhance visual sign language communication. The facility was the first clubhouse for the deaf in the United States and remains the only one constructed in Minnesota. It is historically significant under NRHP Criteria A and C in the areas of Social History and Architecture within the Minnesota statewide historic context Urban Centers (1870-1940). Additional images from the National Register nomination are at the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office.

“Daniel did all of the work for our nomination of Thompson Hall, the only Deaf club in the United States designed by the Deaf architect, Olaf Hanson, to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The passion, skill and care he put into the work was impressive. I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job. Thompson Hall is now on the Register primarily because of the advocacy of the Deaf community and Daniel’s excellent work. I highly recommend him.”

–Mary Hartnett, Minnesota Department of Health

Large Interior Windows Facilitate Signing (Please credit Daniel R. Pratt)