Looking north in the Fifties. You can date these pictures by the cars, or the buildings that still stand. On the extreme left, it’s Temple Court; in the middle, the Bijou. We’ll get to the latter in a bit.

The sidewalks look empty, but this wasn’t a big pedestrian shopping area. To modern eyes, though, it looks surprisingly dense. We forget: most of downtown looked like this. Parking lots were the exception until urban renewal.

This shot was taken from the Nicollet Hotel - I think. Can’t imagine any other spot.

NEXT: close-ups.