Thursday, February 15, 2018

Perches Above a Rail Yard

It's 1906. A man looks down from his perch high above a rail yard and the flour mills it serves. The caption for the stereograph simply reads "Huge flour mills where grain crops are made into food for the world, Minneapolis, Minnesota."

From our temporary Minneapolis Mill District home, a rented condominium, I love to stare out at a place that was once a busy rail yard serving flour mills. I imagine the complex pattern of rail tracks, the sounds of shunting locomotives, and the sulfurous smoke.
2018 view towards the northwest from our current home.
I see traces of the past. To the right, the gracious curves of the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge cross the Mississippi. Immediately in front, Gold Medal Park, which has obliterated any evidence of the railroad tracks that once filled that space. Beyond the Guthrie Theater at the far end of the park, I see the partially ruined structure of Mill City Museum, and the massive Gold Medal Flour neon signs high above. The current signs went up in 1945, but there have been Gold Medal Flour signs there since 1910.

We'll be living in our current home until we move to the building next door to a condominium that is under construction. We expect to move early in 2019.

In the following map and aerial photograph,
  • The blue arrow indicates the direction of the "2018 view towards the northwest from our current home" (pictured above);
  • The yellow callouts show the approximate locations of our current home (2018) and our future home (2019).
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1912 [Hennepin County Library. Login Required.]
Aerial view, 1938. [John R. Borchert Map Library, University of Minnesota.]
We are eager to move to our new "perch." The view to the northwest will be similar to our current view, but at a higher elevation. We'll also gain a view towards the southwest.
Looking up at our windowless 2019 home from Gold Medal Park. (February 2018) 
Note: The stereograph at the top of this post is included, with permission, from Hennepin County Library, James K. Hosmer Special Collections Library.

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