Archive | History

Map Monday: 11′ Ribbon Map of Minnesota (and the rest of the Mississippi River)

Via Kottke, here’s a cool and very old (!) map of the Mississippi River, which of course begins in Minnesota. It dates to 1866, before the railroad era, when the river was still the main route of transportation in the upper Midwest. Here’s the whole thing with the Twin Cities marked: And here’s a close-up: […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Highways: Part Four

This is Part Four of an ongoing series of the history of Minnesota’s trunk highway system. Part One covered the early days of government and privately built roads. Part Two covered the events leading up to the establishment of the trunk highway system in 1920. Part Three covered the coming of the U.S. numbered highways […]

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Podcast #112: Mapping the History of Racial Covenants in Minneapolis

I’m back with another streets.mn podcast and it’s a good one. I sat down a few weeks ago with the team from Mapping Prejudice, a groundbreaking historical research effort to shed light on the racist history of housing practices in Minneapolis. Joining me around the table in the basement of the Borchert Map Library were […]

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Replacing Factories On the North End

June 12, 2016 Midway, Frogtown (Rondo), North End, Como Park 17.5 Miles   There is a lot (an undeveloped property, not a large number of things) on the southeast corner of Lexington Parkway and Central Avenue. This rectangle of grass puzzles me for several reasons. First, it’s on a very busy part of Lexington, just […]

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Living in Union Depot

May 21, 2016 Lowertown, Downtown 15 miles The grand and solemn Saint Paul Union Depot is a train station. Although this seems patently obvious, Union Depot in fact took a 43 year break – from 1971 until 2014 – as the train station for Saint Paul. Today, Saint Paul Union Depot is a transit hub, […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Highways Part Two

Previously this series covered federal and private involvement in Minnesota’s highways from the pioneer days into the 1920s. Now it’s time to cover the involvement of the state. As early as 1890 there was state involvement in highways, with the state contributing funds towards the Old Cedar and Bloomington Ferry Bridges. A 1898 constitutional amendment allowed […]

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Alas, the Minnesota State Capitol is the Anti-Madison

It’s time once again for the Minnesota legislative session, the annual period of time when laws are debated at length, stall out completely, and then get decided at the very last minute with no prior knowledge of what’s in them. For those who are into politics, it’s a fun time. But I want to take […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Highways Part One

This is the first part of a new series on the history of Minnesota’s highway system. This is not intended to be exhaustive or strictly chronological. Rather the idea is to present certain milestones and points where source material is available and that I think readers will find informative or interesting. There’s also a few […]

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Nicollet Hyperlapse

A January 18, 2018 walk down Nicollet Mall and what used to be Nicollet Avenue and the Gateway District. Music: freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Good_China/Masters_Remastered/From_the_New_World_Theme_from_Dvoraks_9th_Symphony Bill Lindeke’s piece about the Gateway District of Minneapolis the other day (and the Super Bowl infrastructure going up) inspired me to record my walk down Nicollet on this fine day.

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Still Lots to Learn from Minneapolis’ Great Gateway Mistake

I’m as obsessed with Minneapolis’ lost Gateway District as anyone who hasn’t written a book on the topic, so I read with some relish the peerless local historian Larry Millett’s recent Star Tribune opinion piece: Minneapolis’ notorious Gateway District was razed almost 60 years ago. It’s time to stop mourning its loss. I came away disappointed. […]

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