Photo originally published Nov. 19, 1979


The Hotel Dyckman always stood out.

When it opened in downtown Minneapolis in 1910, it boasted a lobby wall made of marble, large murals, gilded ceilings with mosaic designs and a fancy wrought-iron marquee. In the 1950s, the famed Chateau de Paris restaurant opened, and guests were enticed by rooms equipped with the latest comforts: air conditioning and televisions.

In 1979, it all disappeared in 7 seconds. But even its demise was noteworthy: It was the first building in Minneapolis to be demolished by implosion, and it was big news.

A front-page article written by reporter and future mayor R.T. Rybak said that within an hour, dust was washed from the surrounding streets, and cleanup was expected to be completed just hours later.

“If we would have used a wrecking ball, there would have been dust for six to eight weeks,” said Ben Longman, who worked for the St. Paul company in charge of the demolition. “But this way, we had one large dust storm on a Sunday morning when very few people were around.”

Although the Dyckman was gone, demolition in downtown wasn’t over. Several more buildings were scheduled to be razed within weeks to make room for the City Center project.