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Lost Minnesota

Stories of Vanished Places

2000
Author:

Jack El-Hai

Lost Minnesota

The first book to tour forgotten landmarks throughout the state of Minnesota.

Jack El-Hai’s Lost Minnesota is the first book to tell the stories of buildings and landmarks from rural and small-town Minnesota, as well as those of the residential and suburban areas of the state’s largest cities. Lost Minnesota presents eighty-nine beautifully illustrated stories about these fascinating places and those who built them, lived in them, and tore them down. This is a book sure to delight the Minnesota history enthusiast and anyone who is curious about the state’s changing urban, small-town, and rural landscapes.

Lost Minnesota presents eighty-nine beautifully illustrated stories about these fascinating places and those who built them, lived in them, and tore them down. This is a book sure to delight the Minnesota history enthusiast and anyone who is curious about the state’s changing urban, small town, and rural landscapes.

St. Croix Review

Believe it or not, Minnesota’s architectural landscape has included a house made from the fuselage of a B-29 bomber, a hotel that spent its final years as a chicken hatchery, a Civil War cemetery, a treehouse built and occupied year-round by an eccentric university professor, and a railway that once carried passengers up Duluth’s steep incline from Lake Superior.

They are all gone now, along with countless houses, parks, bridges, theaters, sports stadiums, courthouses, and farm buildings in which Minnesotans have worked, played, and lived their lives. Though other books have looked at the lost architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Jack El-Hai’s Lost Minnesota is the first book to tell the stories of buildings and landmarks from rural and small-town Minnesota, as well as those of the residential and suburban areas of the state’s largest cities.

From Rochester’s Hotel Zumbro and the Charles H. Mayo House to the Hastings Spiral Bridge and the Lyceum Theater of Duluth, El-Hai rediscovers a lost landscape and the values and lifestyle of a bygone era. He tours not only Twin Cities buildings, such as the Fairoaks mansion, the Wilder Baths, and the Beyrer Brewery, but also its sites, such as the Wonderland amusement park, in order to re-create not only where but how Minnesotans lived.

Lost Minnesota presents eighty-nine beautifully illustrated stories about these fascinating places and those who built them, lived in them, and tore them down. This is a book sure to delight the Minnesota history enthusiast and anyone who is curious about the state’s changing urban, small-town, and rural landscapes.

Lost Minnesota

Jack El-Hai is a freelance journalist and columnist for Architecture Minnesota magazine, and the author of Minnesota Collects (1992) and (with Barbara Degroot) The Insiders’ Guide to the Twin Cities (1995). He lives in Minneapolis.

Lost Minnesota

Lost Minnesota presents eighty-nine beautifully illustrated stories about these fascinating places and those who built them, lived in them, and tore them down. This is a book sure to delight the Minnesota history enthusiast and anyone who is curious about the state’s changing urban, small town, and rural landscapes.

St. Croix Review

Since 1990, Minneapolis writer Jack El-Hai has contributed six Lost Minnesota columns a year to Architecture Minnesota. Now these columns, along with 29 new ones, have been collected as Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places, the first book to tour Minnesota’s forgotten landmarks. The beautifully illustrated book includes stories of a house made from the fuselage of a B-29 bomber, a hotel that spent its final years as a chicken hatchery, a treehouse built and occupied by an eccentric professor, and a railway that once carried passengers up Duluth’s steep incline from Lake Superior. Stories of houses, parks, bridges, theaters, sports stadiums, courthouses and farm buildings from throughout Minnesota are also found here as El-Hai recreates the values, lifestyles and landscapes of bygone eras.

Architecture Minnesota

Lost Minnesota

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

MINNEAPOLIS

B-29 Bomber House
Bohemian Flats
Charles F. Dight's Treehouse
Dyckman Hotel
Exposition Building
Fairoaks
Forum Cafeteria
Gates Mansion
Gateway Park Christmas Tree
Gateway Pavilion
Idea House I
Kenwood Armory
Lutheran Brotherhood/Minnegasco Building
Maple Hill Cemetery
Metropolitan Building
Minneapolis Auditorium and Convention Center
Oak Grove House
Orpheum Theater
Pioneer Square
Plaza Hotel
Pond Brothers' Cabin
Radisson Hotel
St. Mary's Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church
Spirit Island
Times Building
Washburn"A"Mill
West High School
Winslow House
Wonderland Beacon Tower

ST. PAUL

Golden Rule Skyway
Theodore Hamm House
Indian Burial Mounds, Indian Mounds Park
Langford Park
Lexington Park
Market House
Minnesota State Capitol (Second Incarnation)
Outhouse
St. Joseph's Hospital
St. Paul Auditorium
Smith Avenue High Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
Wilder Baths and Pool

TWIN CITIES SUBURBS

Beyrer Brewery, Chaska
Hotel Lafayette, Lake Minnetonka
Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Car, Columbia Heights
Merchants Hotel, Shakopee
Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington
Reis Block, Shakopee

NORTHERN MINNESOTA

Duluth Incline Railway, Duluth
Faith Flour Mill, Faith
First Methodist Episcopal Church, Duluth
IOOF Lodge Hall, Hubbard Township
Otto and Ethel Johnson House, Mountain Iron
Lyceum Theater, Duluth
Scenic Hotel, Northome

CENTRAL MINNESOTA

American Hotel, Glencoe
Ansgar College, Hutchinson
O. A. Churchill Store, Little Falls
Aaron Diffenbacher Farmhouse, Rusheba Township
Heath Summer Residence, Stillwater
Johnson Block, Rush City
Mount Tom Lookout Shelter, Sibley State Park
Osakis Milling Company Mill and Elevator, Osakis
St. Cloud Post Office and City Hall, St. Cloud
Sherburne County Courthouse, Elk River
Andreus Thoreson House, Lac qui Parle Township
Titrud Round Barn, Stockholm Township

SOUTHERN MINNESOTA

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Depot, Farmington
Close Brothers House, Beaver Township
Constans Hotel, Blue Earth
Lucius Cutting Barn, Rochester
Elysian Water Tower, Elysian
Hastings Spiral Bridge, Hastings
Heron Lake Public School, Heron Lake
Horticulture Building, Dakota County Fairgrounds
Hotel Zumbro, Rochester
Lamberton-Wabasso Farmers Elevator, Lamberton
Little Rapids Village, Louisville Township
Charles H. Mayo House, Rochester
Murray County Courthouse, Slayton
New Ulm Roller Mill Complex, New Ulm
John Niebuhr Farmhouse, Mansfield Township
Owatonna Water Works Pumping Station, Owatonna
Rockledge, Winona
Oscar Schmidt House, Mankato
Twente Farm Elevator and Granary, Albin Township
Winnebago Agency House, McPherson Township
Winter Hotel, Lakefield
Worthington and Sioux Falls Railroad Depot, Luverne
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