2018-03-22

Buildings that Wildly Intrigue Me #1

Check out these intriguing buildings.

1.    The Colonnade (1888)

This building is perched on the edge of the freeway and is festooned with weird hemispheric red-and-white striped awnings and arched windows. There are crazy balconies and pillars everywhere, including tiny ten-foot elaborate Rapunzel perches with those Roman-looking garland bas relief thingies underneath them. There are pillars galore. There are even balconies surrounded by pillars, because why not?

Also, there are actual Greek-style statues on each side of the weird entrance. Look at these stone people people groping themselves!

Are they having a staring contest? Yes, they are.

Someone once told me there was a fire here years ago but somehow the fire fighters saved the building and kept all the bricks and walls in place. Thanks SPFD!

The inside of the building used to have the only Kurdish restaurant in the country inside it, and still has some downtrodden corner stores that serve people of modest means.

The Colonnade is crazy. Even looking at it loosens your screws. I can only imagine that in the late 19th century there were tons of architecturally deranged buildings like this in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, designed by nouveau riche people with Trumpian levels of bad taste, only from the Victorian era.



[Oh HAAAY!]


2. The Music and Book Landfill (1922)

What is in here? A "music and book landfill"? What does that even mean? Is this where bad music goes when it’s “thrown away”? Is that where they found Rick Rolls for the first time?

What is inside that huge cupola?

Underneath its drab grey surface lie wild patches of colored paint. I am serious!

If the plot of "Ghostbusters" ever happens in Saint Paul, look here first for Gozer the Gozerian.


[Wait, what is that?]

3.     The Commutator Building (1884)
What does “commutator” even mean? I have literally never heard this word before, and nobody ever will again.

OK I looked it up. Check it out. It's something about electricity and math!

Intriguing? I think so.

The old smokestack in the back of this building leans further to the right than Hillary Clinton running for senate the first time. It is litereally held in place by ancient cables, defying gravity in a steampunk way like a Miyazaki aircraft.

There used to be a basketball hoop inside the ruined walls of the back half of this building that was overgrown with weeds. It was glimpseable through a tiny hole in the wooden door in the alcove. I am not even kidding. If I had ever had the chance to sneak in and shoot three pointers in a lost Minneapolis ruins I would have moved away immediately, just to keep my memory unspoiled.





[Go in this scary alcove, you won't regret it.]

10 comments:

Unknown said...

Is the Commutator building still around? The google maps link goes to some new apartment building, 5th Avenue Lofts.

I was similarly intrigued by the Landfill when taking guitar lessons at St. Joseph School of Music. My teacher and I checked it out one day, and it is... Wait, no, I'll let you find out for yourself. :)

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A. C. Commutator said...

I’ve been curious if Landfill building had some connection to the Cream of Wheat building in NE Mpls, built in 1927 or ‘29 I believe...