The Soo Line Building turned 100 this year and its owners are throwing a party to celebrate the structure's place in Minneapolis history.

While it is now known as the site of 254 luxury apartments owned and operated by Village Green, the structure opened in 1915 as the First National Bank/Soo Line Building. First National was the predecessor to U.S. Bank and Soo Line was later acquired by Canadian Pacific Railway.

The 19-story building was the city's tallest until 1929 when the 26-story Foshay Tower opened.

The First National Bank/Soo Line Building in 1915. Photo: Star Tribune archive.

The First National Bank/Soo Line Building in 1915. Photo: Star Tribune archive.


The white terra cotta of the building's Renaissance Revival and Beaux Arts architecture was an anomaly among the dark-toned Victorian structures composing downtown Minneapolis in the early 20th century. More than 5,000 people were present for its opening, eager to take a ride on one of the building's nine elevators, according to the Minnesota Historical Society. 

It originally served as the headquarters for the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (known as the "Soo Line" for the phonetic pronunciation of "Sault"). The Soo Line was chartered in the 1880s by several heavyweights in Minneapolis industry, like W.D. Washburn, Charles A. Pillsbury, C.M. Loring and others.

The building remains intact today. It underwent one significant structural change in the past century: the addition of a skyway connection across 5th Street South. U.S. Bank, Village Green and Canadian Pacific are hosting an anniversary celebration Tuesday evening for the building.

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