April 8, 1954: A green roof in downtown Minneapolis
February 14, 2011 — 12:23pm
Winter still held Minneapolis in its grip. But up on the roof of the Treasure Masters building, 605 Fourth Av. S., the lawn already needed mowing. The Minneapolis Star caption accompanying the photo below attributed the early growth to "well-fertilized soil and the heat escaping from the building."
Could this be an early example of an environmentally friendly green roof -- or just a serene spot to picnic above the din of downtown traffic? Either way, it's long gone. The Thrivent Financial building and parking lot now fill the block. In the background of this photo you can see the Northwestern Bell (now Qwest) building; at right is City Hall. Behind the mower was Andrew W. Carlson, 815 E. Lake St. Do you recognize him -- or know anything about the Treasure Masters building?
Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
Email your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
Most of our readers in whose memory is still fresh the fact of the destruction by fire of the Merchants' Hotel, on the corner of State and Washington streets, on the morning of the 4th of the present month, will readily recall the particulars concerning the sad fate of the late Mr. R.A. Cook, of Joliet, who perished in the flames during that memorable conflagration.
Art Instruction Inc., once located just around the corner from the old Star and Tribune building on the edge of downtown Minneapolis, offered drawing courses by mail for more than a century. Here the Minneapolis Tribune profiles the commercial art school that trained the likes of Charles M. Schulz ("Peanuts") and Carlos de la Vega (who?).
Twenty irate office women appeared before the St. Paul city council today and demanded action. They said their nylons have been damaged by soot in the city's loop. William Parranto, commissioner of public safety, explained that such soot falls from the chimney at Saint Paul hotel. The hotel, he said, burns a Wyoming oil which contains a liberal percentage of sulphur.
It's no wonder that metro newspapers of the 1950s were extremely profitable: They had a virtual monopoly on classified ads, employed kids to deliver their product and had few if any skilled graphic artists on the payroll. Just try to make sense of this 1955 picture-graph from the Minneapolis Tribune. Appearing with a story headlined "Simple Guide to State School Finances," it's most likely a legislative handout hauled back to the newsroom by the beat writer and slapped directly into print.