Tooling Around Minneapolis ’02
That’s the busy intersection of Fourth and Nicollet in 1902 . Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse was still under construction and gas buggies had to share the road with bicycles, horses and street cars.
The design of our Richardsonian Romanesque Municipal Building was based upon Henry Hobson Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Washington School, the first schoolhouse in Minneapolis west of the Mississippi River, was demolished to make way for the new building. Groundbreaking took place in 1889. The cornerstone was laid a story off the ground in 1891. Construction did not officially end until 1909, but the structural exterior was pretty much complete by the end of 1895.
The Masonic Temple and the West Hotel sat beside each other Hennepin Avenue for over fifty years. Opened in 1884, the West Hotel was Minneapolis’ first grand hotel. It had 407 luxuriously furnished rooms, 140 baths and was considered for a time to be the best hotel west of Chicago. The building designed by LeRoy Buffington was built on land that was once owned by the first resident of Minneapolis, John H. Stevens. The West was demolished in 1940. The Masonic Temple was purchased and underwent a renovation to become the Hennepin Center for the Arts in 1978. These days the building is owned by Artspace and is home to more than 17 performing and visual art companies.
There’s the old Tenth Avenue Bridge and the still standing Stone Arch Bridge . Between the two is the long-gone Spirit Island where legend has it that Dakoka women would go to Spirit Island to give birth. In an effort to make the Mississippi River navigable above Saint Anthony Falls for the first time, the United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed two sets of locks at the lower dam and at the falls in the 1950s. They also covered the falls with a permanent concrete apron. The project resulted in the disfiguration of the Stone Arch Bridge by replacing two of the arches with a steel truss. Spirit Island was also obliterated in the process.
I’m guessing this young boy on a bicycle is watching goldfish. Loring Park was designed by American landscape architect Horace Cleveland. Originally named Central Park it was renamed in honor of Charles M. Loring. The park is located on the former farm of Joseph and Nellie Johnson.
Here’s the Minikahda Club & Lake Calhoun. The name Minikahda comes from a combination of two Indian words meaning “by the side of the water.”
Minnehaha Park is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks. The 53 foot waterfall has been tweaked a little over the years, but on most days the sounds of rushing water and screaming children drown out the airplanes and traffic so it’s not too difficult to imagine that very little has changed since the days when this photogravure print was made.