Archive | History

Proposed plan includes new water feature and ramps to address grade changes. Credit: MPRB

The Park Board’s Vision for Gateway Park

Recently, I met with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board District 4 Commissioner Jono Cowgill across the street from Gateway Park to chat about the current state and future of the park. Welcome to Gateway Park 🦖 Gateway Park is a plaza located at the intersection of Hennepin Ave and S 1st St and is bordered […]

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St. Paul 2040 Could Learn Something from St. Paul 1922

As Saint Paul debates its 2040 plan, it is revealing to look back at one of the city’s first zoning maps from the early 1920s. A little inspection of the map reveals some of the origins of the city’s current social geography and social divides, but also some elements worthy of resurrection. The dominance of […]

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Book Review: A People’s History of the Seward Neighborhood

The new book, A People’s History of the Seward Neighborhood, provides a narrative on Seward West Neighborhood that is needed for a comprehensive account of the 35-block area of the Seward Neighborhood. Most of the information is accurate. However, other passages fall short due the writers’ not being able to gain a needed grasp of […]

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Along Old Highway 61 to Duluth, A Phototour, Part Two

This is Part Two of a phototour of Old Highway 61 to Duluth. Previously we covered St. Paul to White Bear Lake, now we continue north at Forest Lake. Forest Lake Early on the cutoff to where the road from Minneapolis met the road from St. Paul to Duluth moved from White Bear Lake to […]

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Map Monday: Minneapolis Average Rents, 1934

Here’s a cool map I recently found from a 1939 Federal FHA report called The Structure and Growth of Residential Neighborhoods in American Cities. It’s very old-school urban geography, but has a bunch of cool maps including this one: Here’s part of the text, describing the rent trends in 30s Minneapolis vs. New York City: […]

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Map Monday: 1897 Rand McNally Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Via David Rumsey’s great website, here’s a fun map you can check out from 1897, a colorful atlas view of the Twin Cities during the early heyday of streetcars. The overview: Here’s the close-up of the downtown areas:   It’s fun to Imagine all the farmland that surrounded the streetcar lines that had just been […]

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Map Monday: US Brewery Openings by Month

Via Twitter, and the Chief Economist of the Brewer’s Association, comes this map of US brewery openings grouped by month, starting in 1900 to the present day. Animated map of U.S. brewery openings grouped by month. The explosion in the last few years is incredible. pic.twitter.com/SaPFuNXICl — Bart Watson (@BrewersStats) August 31, 2018 Cheers!

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Driverless Cars and the Cult of Technology

We constantly hear that driverless cars are just around the corner. We’re told they will revolutionize transportation and enable us to continue using our car-based transport and land-use system. If they’re made by Tesla, they’ll be powered by magic, solar-powered, super efficient batteries and we’ll all be able to keep living our hyper-mobile, hyper-consumptive lifestyles […]

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In 1923, You Could Buy Pedestrian Insurance for 75 Cents

If you subscribed to the Minneapolis Daily Star in 1923, you could get a year’s worth of pedestrian insurance for an extra 75 cents.   The add-on deal was just what it sounds like: insurance coverage for injuries (including fatal injuries) you might incur while walking across the street. The offer, through the North American Accident […]

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