The skyline of Hastings still reflects the vision that five individuals had for this picturesque Mississippi River town more than one hundred and fifty years ago. As they laid out the original town plat, these founders hoped its strategic location on the Mississippi would make Hastings a distribution point for wheat and other goods, and they dreamed of the convergence of steamboat and rail routes. Today, a fine collection of historic buildings record the progress of the community into the twenty-first century. The 1871 Dakota County Courthouse, rehabilitated in 1993 as the Hastings City Hall, and the rehabilitation of the 1862 LeDuc House as a museum in 2004, are prominent symbols of the success of community planning and historic preservation in the community.
Through many kinds of preservation activities, the City of Hastings has long recognized that our historic setting along with our cultural and historic resources are valuable community assets. These assets contribute to the city’s economy in many ways, and greatly enhance its character, sustainability, and overall quality of life. At the heart of the city, the nearly fifty handsome historic buildings along East Second Street (Hastings’ Main Street) are being adapted to meet the needs of twenty-first-century retailers and other tenants. In the residential neighborhoods, residents have maintained the value of their historic property through sensitive maintenance and restoration. While historic houses, commercial buildings, and churches constitute the core of the city’s cultural resources, there are also many other kinds of historic properties, including archaeological sites, bridges, and landscapes that are worthy of preservation.