In my first year in Minneapolis, I strolled past this building on an August evening, and heard . . . bagpipes. I stood there and listened until I'd had my fill of the braying racket, then moved along. If I’d come by 20 years later, I might have heard Aerosmith recording a video inside. Built in 1935-36, abandoned decades later, it’s a miracle it survived. Many plans have been devised to rehab it and turn it into something - a golf dome, a winter garden. Nothing worked. It was too old, too odd, too far from the center of town. It’s a parking garage now, and it has a historical designation to protect it from the reaper’s ball.

In the next few pages you’ll see some archival photos, and pictures of the disused interior, taken during an urban spelunking expedition in the early Oughts.