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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

The White Is King: 1908

The White Is King: 1908

Circa 1908. "Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis." Our title comes from the sign over the White Sewing Machine Co. store. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

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Chompers

The Dr. Sullivan sign with the pointing hand and painted dentures is so classic, I'm looking for Norman Rockwell.

+100

Below is the same view from September of 2008.

Time traveler

No, not one of those oft-seen individuals who just coincidentally appear to be holding a cell phone to their ear, but a retail establishments named simply "Unique" would seem to have fallen back in time from the 2000s.

To the West

Behind the streetcar, to the right of the Unique Theatre and to the left of Lenin's doppelganger on the wall sign, is the West Hotel. Despite the tackiness of its peppermint-stripe facade on its lower levels, it was the destination hotel for visiting celebrities. A young Winston Churchill stayed at the West during the final week of Queen Victoria's reign, when giving stirring accounts to packed houses at the Lyceum Theater (located behind the cameraman) of his exploits in the Boer War. It survived Churchill, the Republican National Convention in 1892, a fatal fire in 1906, and the Great Depression, until its demolition in 1940.

Street cleaner's day off?

Rarely do we see a street so flithy as this one. And not just the typical horse waste but trash in the gutter!

Subliminal

If you look at this picture long enough, you'll see a Starbucks.

Still there

The Masonic Temple building still survives as the Hennepin Center for the Arts, and the Lumber Exhange building survives as, well, the Lumber Exchange.

Hennepin Avenue today


View Larger Map

Next time I walk by those old buildings I'll keep 1908 in mind.

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