The mighty Metropolitan Building comes back to life

By Rick Nelson
Star Tribune

Metropolitan Dreams (Larry Millett)When author Larry Millett published “Lost Twin Cities” in 1992, the book’s cover featured an image of the glorious interior of the long-demolished Metropolitan Building.

Twenty-six years later, Millett has returned to the downtown Minneapolis landmark with “Metropolitan Dreams” (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95), a well illustrated and thoroughly fascinating account of the building’s rich past and ignoble end, viewed from historic, economic, political and architectural perspectives.

Starting in the Gilded Age building boom of the 1880s, Millett illuminates the building’s original owner, Louis Menage, and his thriving but ultimately nefarious Northwestern Guaranty Loan Co. The career of the Met’s architect, Edward Townsend Mix, also gets its due.

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