Photo of the Day

Exterior and interior shots of the legendary Metropolitan Building, the first true "skyscraper" built in Minneapolis, and once the largest US building west of Chicago. Built in 1890 as the Northwest Guarantee Loan Building, it was sold to Met Life in 1905, giving the building its famous name.

The Metropolitan is best known for its luxurious interior, with a massive skylight and transluscent green glass for the balcony floors. Metal lattice on the railings and open-view elevators complement the design. The building stood 12 stories tall, and was the largest in Minneapolis until the construction of the Foshay Tower.

Tragically, the Met was destroyed in 1961 as part of a massive urban renewal program, which demolished all or part of 25 downtown blocks. The city of Minneapolis has never fully recovered from the devastation, which succeeded in removing its despised "skid row," but destroyed countless buildings in the process. Many of these classic structures are now empty parking lots facing empty streets. Today, thanks to the Millennial Generation, people are moving back, and a building boom is underway. Hopefully, we can finally recover the spirit of that old city that was lost.

In a just world, the city of Minneapolis would rebuild the Metropolitan as a luxury hotel and rooftop cafe. Heck, rebuild the old Post Office building that once stood next door, another magnificent landmark, and turn that into a museum. Can you believe that downtown Minneapolis has no museums? The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Walker Art Center lie a couple miles south, buried in residential districts. No museums, no tourist traps, we don't even have a McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts. You can't throw a rock in downtown Chicago without hitting a Dunkin' Donuts. This is what you get in a city that's afraid of its own shadow. Just hide inside the office towers, hide inside the skyways, and escape to the suburbs at five.

Oh, well.


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