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Hotel Dyckman: 1910

Hotel Dyckman: 1910

Minneapolis circa 1910. "Hotel Dyckman and Sixth Street." Opened in 1910; demolished in 1979. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

"Room With Bath for a Dollar and a Half"

Announcing the newer, bigger Dyckman. Click to enlarge.

Across 6th Street

The picture of the Dyckman was likely taken from the construction site of the Plymouth building at 12 South 6th Street. It was completed in 1911 and remains today as an Embassy Suites hotel.

Bold Talk

Claiming your structure to be absolutely fireproof just two years before it was declared about Titanic that “God himself could not sink this ship!”? Talk about tempting fate.

From leader to obsolete

The Hotel Dyckman opened on May 3, 1910, so was likely brand new when this photo was taken. The hotel was designed by the Minneapolis firm Long, Lamoreaux & Long for New York millionaire businessman John Andrus, whose wife's maiden name was Dyckman. The hotel was not featured in any architecture magazine I found, so no floor plan and only two photos of the main dining room in ads by Schick-Johnson Co., the company who installed the Circassian Walnut paneling. The are some really impressive descriptions of the lobby, but no photograph.

Apparently, the hotel got off to a rough start. Before construction, an experienced hotel operator named Mr. Collins leased the hotel from John Andrus with the lease payments based on the value of the real estate plus cost of construction. The estimated cost was $400,000 but the final bill turned out to be $600,000. Among other luxuries, this was the first hotel in Minneapolis where each of the 175 guest rooms had its own, private bath. Mr. Collins struggled to make the lease payments for three years, but eventually lost his investment.

In 1913 Mr. Tremain signed a 20-year lease for the Dyckman. He did well enough to expand the hotel by adding 82 rooms in 1914 and 44 more rooms in 1915.

As it did many of these grand hotels, changing tastes resulted in lost revenue ... and hotels tried to keep up. Compare the 1910 exterior photo with the one in the link Dave provided. The photo of the lobby has none of the features described in 1910, except maybe the mural. By the time the Chateau De Paris restaurant opened, the Circassian Walnut paneling was gone. As Mr. Collins experienced, the Hotel Dyckman eventually became a nonviable operation.

Here is 27 South 6th Street today. Swing to the left to see the building Jimmy Longshanks referenced.

Down it goes!

In Sept 1979 I was wandering in downtown Minneapolis and happened to capture this shot of the Dyckman's demise.

Idle curiosity

The hotel is a straightforward and progressive design, free of architectural tomfoolery, doo-daddery and jimcrackery. But of course there needs to be a nice cornice. No frosting, no cake.

Surely there is a reason for the six story portion vs. the ten story portion.
Likewise, for the bricked up fourth through sixth floor window openings on the side of a new building. The side elevation also reveals reinforced concrete construction, possibly the Julius Kahn patented system. There appears to be a sort of security mesh on the third story (and possibly some fourth story) windows. It also looks like there are window screens on all of the guest room windows. This was probably not common in 1910.

Rubel's Furniture padded the lease to get a second floor display window, breaking the architectural continuity of the lower floors.

The condition of the lobby entrance tells me that the hotel is still under construction, but the store front businesses (bar one) look to have been there for a while.

Timing

I wondered what the horse was doing inside the building site until I realized it happened to be passing the gap in the hoarding just as the photo was being taken.

There she stands ... and lies

The Minneapolis-based humorist James Lileks on his site referred to the Dyckman as the "Hotel of Lies", for the creativity that went into the postcards promoting this place, with sections being either added-on, or deleted, sometimes both, at the same time (see below)

[The postcard is an accurate representation -- the hotel was enlarged with a four-story, 100-room addition that opened in 1914, and again in 1915. - Dave]

He was referring specifically to the streamlined appearance and omission of the back half of the building. Admittedly there can be a thin line between false advertising and artistic license, so the critique may seem picayunish, but I guess it's hard to find a lot to laugh about in the midst of a long gray Twin Cities winter.

[At some point in the 1930s or '40s, the roof and lower floors were "streamlined." - Dave]

Fireproof or not

Word on the street is that the Hotel Dyckman was the first building in Minneapolis to be demolished by implosion.

My Kind Of Town

My father was born in Minneapolis a year after this picture was taken. Interesting to see what the city looked like when he was young. I came along 43 years after this shot, and by 1967 when I was 14 the city had changed a lot! I worked at Giovanni's pizza on 6th and Hennepin then, and one of my jobs was delivering pizzas to strippers at Augie's and the Copper Squirrel. Quite the education for a 14 year old. The only business name I recognize in this picture is the partial view of the Grain Belt Beer ad on the side of the building. The beer is still brewed in Minnesota by the August Schell Brewing company. The original brewery in Minneapolis has been long shuttered.

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