Archive | Then and Now

Then and Now: Graeser Park, aka Robbinsdale Rockgarden Roadside Parking Area

Twin Cities Then and Now: Graeser Park (also known as Robbinsdale Rockgarden Roadside Parking Area), Highway 100 and Broadway Avenue, Robbinsdale (1940/2016) shown ca. 1940 and today. Photos by me and the Minnesota Historical Society Crossposted at the Stuff About Minneapolis tumblr.

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Then & Now: Near North Minneapolis

Doing research for my recent Olson Memorial Highway article, I dug through the Minnesota Historical Society archives and the University of Minnesota’s Borchert Aerial Map Archive to try and figure out exactly when this road was constructed. The answer is 1937, the same year that Olson himself died. It was also the year that the Sumner […]

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Then & Now: Red’s Savoy Inn and Environs

The east end of downtown Saint Paul is a fascinating and desolate place. The gap between the East Side and downtown can sometimes feel like a grand canyon of asphalt, but with the new Lafayette bridge, road and trail connections, and the Saints’ stadium all under construction, maybe it’s going to begin to feel different in […]

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Restore the Grid! A Vision for the Center of Downtown Saint Paul

I live and work in Lowertown. Frequently my errands and wanderings take me up to the Rice Park/Landmark Center/7th Place areas. I’m always either on foot or bike. Over the last two-plus years of living here, I’ve become increasingly annoyed with the presence of the two “SuperBlocks”. These are the blocks that have 7th Street […]

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Streetcar on Washington Avenue in front of Coffman Union c. 1953

Then & Now: University of Minnesota

These images show very little change on the main Mall of the University of Minnesota campus. Coffman still looks down at Northrup in the distance. There is a tree in the middle, so the landscape is slightly less formal. Some new buildings have been built at the edge of the Mall and Washington. Washington is deeper entrenched. […]

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Then & Now: Bicycles Are Back–and Booming! (National Geographic, May 1973)

This edition of Then & Now will be guest posted by Nick Magrino, who is functionally aware of copyright law and would not like to upset the good people at the National Geographic Society. Full copies of the featured article are available at the link towards the bottom and also probably at your local library/cabin. […]

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Then & Now: Downtown Duluth

I just spent the weekend in Duluth, which is a fascinating city for anyone interested in urban design and Minnesota history. Walking along the riverfront always makes me wonder how to better connect the city to the lake. It turns out I’m not the first person to have thought about that topic. The history of how […]

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Then & Now: Lyndale and Hennepin

As you all know, the city and Hennepin County are re-paving the intersection of Hennepin and Lyndale by Loring Park and the Walker Art Center. A while ago, I did a “Then & Now” on Loring Park. Today let’s zoom in on the intersection of Hennepin and Lyndale…  [Click on images to enlarge.] The two […]

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Then & Now: Ayd Mill Road

A podcast conversation a few weeks ago made me start wondering what the Ayd Mill valley looked like in the early 20th century. Thanks to the Minnesota Historical Aerial Map Archive (and their amazing new interface), we can find out! Here are some shots of the South terminus of (what today is) Ayd Mill Road […]

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