Hennepin Avenue, long long ago. On the corner, the Kasota; next to it, larger but less graceful, its longtime companion the Northwestern Building. The pointy-towered building up the street was the Boston Block. Everything here is gone - except for the Gardner Hardware Company.

The Kasota was built in 1884; Larry Millett says it was the first Richardsonian commercial structure in the state, and there's no reason not to believe him.

This picture makes the next page more intriguing - it appears that Hennepin was lowered a foot or two. The ground floor of the Kasota in this postcard view is a half-floor, but in the next shot you'll see it's much taller. Remember as well the lower face of the Northwestern; that was sacrificed for no good reason. But we'll get to that.