Nicollet Avenue, between 5th and 6th streets.
The Syndicate Block was named after 12 men who pooled their money and bought the block on Nicollet. When the building opened in 1883 it was the pride of downtown — a quarter-million feet of retail and office space.
Tastes changed, brands faded — the Minneapolis Dry Goods Company was replaced by the Leader store, which was shouldered aside by J.C. Penney. The facade was modernized with salmon-hued metal panels in the ’50s, and the rugged stone was sealed away. In 1883, a newspaper review said the Block would surely last a hundred years.
While few buildings from the 1880s made it past 1950, the Syndicate hit a hundred and kept counting. Then in 1989 the building was demolished for phase 2 of Gaviidae Common. When Penneys’ metal panels were clawed off, the old facade got a few hours in the sun. Then it tumbled down, and they hauled it all away.