I love Minneapolis about seven months of the year. Well, I love Minneapolis all the time, but love Minneapolis weather seven months of the year. Yup, snow in April. The rhyme goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” not “April snows brings May …” I’m not that upset about the snow. The weather is warmer than it could be this time of year, and so far, keeping my fingers crossed, less snow.
I’m not native to Minneapolis or Minnesota, but after almost 10 years, I’m staring to feel like I can call this place home. Still, I’ve never been that interested in Minneapolis’ past. Minneapolis is a future thinking place thanks to the guidance of Mayor R.T Rybak, best mayor ever. Everywhere you look these days, a new building is being put up, even in this new economy. Unless you are trying to sell, it sure doesn’t look like the housing market is in trouble.
Looking through “Historic Photos of Minneapolis” and reading the captions by Heather Block Lawton is proof that Minneapolis does not stand still. Minneapolis seems ever determined to reinvent itself respecting new ideas and the edgiest artist and architects. The oldest picture in the book is of a booming Mill City, a picture of the “first Hennepin Avenue suspension bridge, designed by Thomas M. Griffith and completed in 1855, connected Minneapolis to Nicollet Island” (x). The bridge looks barely two buggies wide.
The ‘newest’ picture in the collection is of the Nicollet Avenue, “a twelve block pedestrian mall, on the first in the nation” (198). The picture was taken at 10th Street and looks down town capturing Daytons.
However, the picture that enjoyed discovering most is on page 115 of the Calhoun Beach on the north shore where The Calhoun Beach Club now holds sway. The beach is full of people enjoying a hot summer’s day. The caption for this photograph reads,
“During the summer of 1915 Minnapolitans flocked to Calhoun Beach on the north shore of Lake Calhoun. The 1918 ‘Hudson’s Dictionary of Minneapolis’ notes that Lake Calhoun could be reached from downtown via streetcar in just thirty minutes.”
These are only three of the wonders that can be found in the colleted “Historic Photos of Minneapolis.” It is gorgeous coffee table book I will be sure to use when staging my condominium next year. The book is must have for anyone interested in the history of Minneapolis. It is a fun book to look through reminding me just how far this city has come and that I have chosen to live in one of the greatest places in the United States, a place that does not fear the future, but embraces it.
Block Lawton, Heather. “Historic Photos of Minneapolis.” Nashville, Tennessee: Turner Publishing Company, 2007