A beautiful spring day here in the Twin Cities. Well, my half. The western half. The food trucks are back, which is a good sign:

Oh boy! New Zealand pies! They must be awesome, because . . . New Zealand's cool, I guess

I looked up at one of the towers across the street, and the lights weren’t on.

I wonder if there’s anyone up there.

The crazy street preacher did not show up, which was probably good. He was unnerving people. Shouted a particularly crude version of the promise of eternal life in racial terms. A man on a bike stopped to tell him he was being annoying, and he just berated him some more, calling him the N word; the man on the bike replied that he was not, in fact, an N-word at all. Stop saying that. Then the preacher continued on and railed at me standing outside the StarTribune office, apparently believing I owned the newspaper, or at least was responsible for its content.

And now it's back to . . .

The Clark-Adams is a standard-issue big-city office block. Announced in 1925 as a 25-story structure, the Bankers Building. Completed in 1927 at 41 stories. Guess they just couldn’t stop.

The lower floors are standard-issue 1927, with Deco-influenced bas reliefs.

Height of the style at the time:

The dudes are GNARLY

It’s the rest of the thing that makes me wonder. It’s quite stark. You have to ask: is it startlingly modern, or were they just cheap? Here's a rendering from its grand opening:


It’s all brick, and I guess the white brick was too expensive to replace - look at the left side. When they repaired old bricks, they didn’t bother to match them. It looks ragged, and sooty.


On the same street you’ll find this elegant beheamoth.

Why yes, it is from the 30s. The Field Building, finished in 1934.

This, like all other skyscrapers, is a hand-made object. Everything was put in place by hand. It went up in the trough of the Depression, the largest office building in town, a statement of faith.

The 1934 newspapers are full of ads from companies announcing that they were making the move to the new tower, and one story showed its fancy mailbox-elevator tracking display.

  It’s still there.

Either would be a centerpiece in any other town. Here they're eclipsed.

And now, we suspect, the time of tall towers is over.



It’s 1913.

For some reason I can’t remember, we are in Judith Gap.

Breaking news:

And what might that be? The greatest peril is the “CHANGE IN THE CHARACTER OF OUR PEIOPE,” because “the road by which republics fall is the road of EASE AND PERSONAL INDULGENCE.”

Well, set your mind at peace, sir, no danger of that ever happening.




A full and complete list follows.

We must ORGANIZE ALL MEN and achieve STEAM

They loved their caps in this journal. Boosting for a bigger town, you say? The train did indeed come to town, but let’s just say it didn’t give rise to a thriving monopoly. The town has 110 people today.

The editorial page starts out with some statistics proving why Judith Gap is the place to be:

  The news from Nihill.

Nihill is gone. "Once home to two general stores, a grain elevator, lumber yard, blacksmith shop, school and a church, Nihill only lasted as a community for about 20 years."


There’s nothing much in Garneill anymore, either.


Something on your mind? Ask the experts at the Journal!


  No one uses it today, but was once common enough:

As Wikipedia puts it:

The first recorded use of the word was employed by the press in 1906 to avoid the "short and ugly word" (liar) in connection with the "mutual accusations of inveracity" which arose between President Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina over the railroad rate bill. The phrase was adopted to describe any person President Roosevelt accused of dishonesty. The name derived from the story of Ananias, who fell dead when he lied to the apostle Peter about a financial transaction.

Which we saw a few weeks ago in cartoon form from Raphael.

A man on the plains of Montana wants to know:

Well, yes and no.


A show at the Opera House, a bite and a bump at the eatery - town life was pretty good.

Now it’s gone. The whole place.

Now two ways to chip in!

That should do! Fifties interiors await.



blog comments powered by Disqus