The ban is greyed out because the Bleat is greyed out today as well. Full-strength Bleatage tomorrow, for reasons I'll explain. And are probably obvious, if you care. But I just don't feel right putting up a "sorry! Tomorrow" page. It's such a disappointment. Even if there's just this, it shows I don't take you for granted.

Or am terrified you'll leave in disgust and never come back; either works.

Anyway: there's stuff below. There are matchbooks. See? I'm here for you.

 

   

Note: Clicking on the B&W Banner now takes you to an page of links that go directly to last year's entries. Why? Because I had an hour to kill.

This truncated Bleat demands a truncated installment of B&W World - a preview of the upcoming "Route 66 in Minneapolis" site. The episode - one of three - begins with clowns waylaying our heroes on the 3rd avenue bridge.

THE HOME OF SERVICE is a particularly blunt warehouse, a sign of the times when the waterfront was industrial. The light-colored buildng is the Post Office, a Modern masterpiece that still stands. As for the fortunes of the neigbhorhood: Looking Good.


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That's the Carlyle, one of the many residential developments that have added thousands of new residents to downtown.

Martin Milner standing on the corner of Nicollet and 4th. I cannot explan the sign between his head and the streetlamp. Another picture taken from a room several stories up shows the sign consisted of the word BOND in white letters - a clothiers, I gather. In this image only the D is visible. I don't understand. Did they cover it up for the shot?

The site today. Sigh, somewhat: the NSP building on the right is a prime example of the thin punch-card-window style of building, and they've done all they could to make it look better. Not much to work with.

 


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A shot from the hotel shows a landmark much missed: the NW Weatherball. The colors changed depending on the temperature and chance of rain. It went down in a spectacular fire, and one of the most beautiful buildings in the city rose on the spot.

Sttll missed. Martin seems to be contemplating its inevitable fall.

A reminder what time and urban renewal did to the area: old buildings were smashed, parking lots laid on busy corridors, the backsides of older buildings exposed. Things looked old, worn, and generally crummy - whcih is why new towers like the Sheraton were greeted as saviors.

He's walking into a bulding that no longer exists, with a department store that no longer exists at his back. The parking lot no longer exists. You almost wish it did:


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There's a happy ending to all this. The ramp's replacement:

 

New construction is taking the place of the empty lots and ugly ramps, and the area - dead for decades, really, killed by a leveling hand so harsh it seemed to salt the earth - will have residents and commerce again. It'll never be as distinct or diverse as it was, but you can't go back in time and warn them, tell them people in a 100 years would care more about the buildings they put up than the glass-and-steel symbols of the future that replaced them.

Even if you could: they'd never believe you.

 

Back tomorrow with fun stuff. See you around!

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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