Favorite thing: Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota, the city’s origin and growth was derived from its proximity to Fort Snelling and by its location to Saint Anthony Falls, which provided power for sawmills and flour mills. Fort Snelling was established in 1819, where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet, and the falls provided waterpower. As land became available, two towns became established on either side of the falls: Saint Anthony, on the east side, and Minneapolis, on the west side. The two towns later merged to become one city in 1872.
Michael Graves was selected to design the new "Target" Wing at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The results are disappointing, IMHO. From the street, the addition is rather boring and uninviting. It could house virtually any kind of institution: a medical center, a library, even a secretive governmental bureaucracy.
Interesting fact: all over the Midwest, during the first decade of the 21st century major American museums whose main buildings are stoutly neo-classical and traditional commissioned major "starchitects" to expand their limited exhibition spaces. Stephen Holl in Kansas City, Renzo Piano in Chicago, and in Rafael Vinoly in Cleveland are three other prominent architectural masters who were given this responsibility - and met the challenge in interesting and varied ways.
Edwin Hewitt, chief architect of the Hennepin Ave UMC, created this exuberant pseudo-medieval edifice in the early twentieth century. It reminds some people of the famous church on Mont St. Michel in Normandy. Interestingly, Hewitt was born in nearby Red Wing Minnesota, a town with a distinguished architectural history of its own. Hewitt was educated chiefly at Harvard, but also spent several formative years at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
The actual address in 511 Groveland.
Hewitt was also involved (with Edwin Brown) in the creation of another Hennepin Avenue monument, the nearby Episcopal Cathedral of St. Mark's.
The Episcopal Cathedral for Minneapolis stands at a prominent corner, opposite Loring Park and the Walker Art Center. It's traditional "Anglican" design was the work of the famous team of Edwin Hewitt and Edwin Brown, jointly responsible for many of Minneapolis's dignified "Beaux Arts" buildings of the early 20th century.
511 Oak Grove Ave., just off Hennepin Ave.
Karen travels to Minneapolis from Cincinnati several times a year on business. She works for Proctor & Gamble with headquarters in Cincinnati and her job is as a Customer Service and Logistics Coordinator for Target, based in Minneapolis.
P&G is the largest comsumer goods company in the world with dozens of brands including Crest, Duracell, Gillette, Pampers, Pringles, Clairol, Tide, Iams and many many more. Target is the second largest retailer in America - surpassed only by WalMart. What this means is that Karen and her team are responsible for shipping millions of dollars worth of products to Target warehouses around the country every day - Two Billion dollars in business every year. Those numbers boggle my mind, but my beautiful wife is a brilliant and capable person and I am very proud of her.
Fondest memory: When Karen was scheduled to go to Minneapolis in April, 2007, I decided to meet her there. I drove my trusty 12-year-old pickup truck while Karen flew. After her business was wrapped up we spent the weekend touring Minneapolis and St. Paul, which including seeing the Target Corporate Offices in downtown Minneapolis, and a downtown Target store near the headquarters.
After a wonderful weekend together Karen flew back home and back to work in Cincinnati. Being semi-retired, I had a little more time. So I took five days to get home, taking a zig-zag route which helped me to collect several new counties in my ongoing quest to visit every county in the United States at least once in my lifetime.
Minneapolis' leading Roman Catholic church is the Basilica of St. Mary. Designed in the Beaux Arts style by Emmanuel Masqueray, who also was responsible for neighboring St. Paul's Cathedral. It was constructed over a two-decade period in the early 20th century, and received formal recognition as a Basilica (the first Catholic Church in the USA to do so) by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
Since 1967, the Basilica of St. Mary and St. Paul's in St. Paul have been the official co-cathedrals of the diocese of Minneapolis - St. Paul.
88 N. 17th Street
Michael Graves, who also designed the recently opened Target Wing at the MIA, also was responsible for the renovation and expansion of the Children's Theater Company on the other side of the building. (The CTC is attached to the MIA.) More glass, more openings, more inviting. I didn't get a chance to look inside and see what the theaters are like. Just don't compare it to the new Guthrie complex downtown!
Favorite thing: This 17 story glass structure houses the HQ of the a large Lutheran-oriented financial services company. This is the side of the building with windows; the other side presents an almost blank wall (17 stories high) to the street! It's a 1981 design from one of the studios of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, located at the corner of 6th Street and Fourth Ave.
Pick up a copy of City Pages, our free alternative weekly. In here you'll find information on every concert, restaurant, poetry slam, book reading, and bondage event going on in the Twin Cities for an entire week (and sometimes further ahead).
You can find City Pages at a plethora of stands across the city, especially downtown. If you're having trouble locating it, pop into any bar or restaurant and ask someone. If they don't carry them, they'll be able to point you to a vendor.
City Pages is distributed on late Wednesdays (Thursdays at some locations).
Royale Caffe, on the corner of Hennepin Avenue and 12th Street, is a funky little coffeeshop with free wi-fi access and two Mac's for those who don't bring their own laptop. Comfy couches and plenty of table seating along with a trendy decor and large windows make this place great for not only logging on, but also relaxing with a newspaper or even people watching.
A wide variety of coffees are served, as well as several sandwiches. So far I've had the turkey and the mozzarella - both good. I tried the black bean roll-up but didn't care much for it. You can also get a block of gouda or another type of cheese for $1, and for another dollar you can add a mini-loaf of crusty french bread to your plate.
Try not to hog the Mac's if you notice people waiting (at times it can be busy in there). The Royale Caffe is only a block away from the community college, which makes it a popular spot for college students in their mid-twenties.