Monday, July 22, 2013

My World Tuesday -- Milwaukee Road Depot

   In the late 1800s, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was a bustling and growing city, so busy it had more than one train station.  The largest one, Union Station, sadly is gone, razed in the name of progress, but The Milwaukee Road Depot still stands.

The steeple on the clock blew off during a windstorm and has not been replaced.  The outdoor train yard to the right was 1/8 mile long!
   Built in 1899, in its heyday it had 29 trains coming and going every day.  Now it holds a ghostly reminder, sculpted figures depicting its life in days gone by.

The conductor.  Edwin Kelly

  Dining car waiter. Charlie Strong
Shoeshine boy. Timothy


Officer Binsfeld

Sailor.  Norman and many, many other young men travelled by train far away from Minnesota farms to serve their country.
I have been unable to find the name of the sculptor, but was told at the depot that each was based on an old photo and models for the statues were the artist's family members.  She could not recall his name.
Special spill-proof coffee cups had a lip on the edge to keep the coffee in.
   I remember going to pick my dad up from the train station (not this one, a much smaller one in Wisconsin) when he travelled to Chicago for business on the Milwaukee Road train, waiting in the cold and dark for it to arrive. Loud hisses of steam coming out from underneath the beast before the passengers disembarked would have me clutching my mom in fear and excitement.  Daddy usually brought a present.  One time it was a Davy Crocket milk mug, which I still have!
   The Minneapolis Milwaukee Road Depot closed in the 1970s and became a dirty, rundown wreck in a blighted neighborhood.  Fortunately, someone saw its potential, and today it is a hotel with historic suites in the old plush offices of the railroad executives.  The gorgeous ornate passenger terminal has been restored and is an elegant banquet room and ballroom.  The train shed becomes a popular ice skating rink in the winter.

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  1. It's so good when you see buildings that have been restored and brought back to life. Those sculptures are a clever idea giving visitors an insight into life at the station.

  2. that is a wonderful memory of waiting for your dad

    such wonderful statues, thank you for sharing.

  3. those cups are a good design. funny most of the statues of men. good idea to make the history stand among us like that.

  4. I'm glad this one is still standing!

  5. Lovely statues. And such a good idea to have spill-proof cups!

  6. It is so good to hear that it has been restored and reused. The sculptures all in white are very striking. It obviously brought back nice memories for you.

  7. Nice sculptures and interesting reading.

  8. Love the tale of survival and those statues are quite something.

  9. I'm always in favor of saving beautiful old buildings especially those with a rich history such as this one- the white statues are wonderful reminders of yesteryear's and the people who pasted by here.

  10. Those sculpted figures really are "ghostly reminders". Wow!

  11. So nice to see it`s beeing used as a hotel. Beautiful statues, and very informativ story. Thank you for sharing :)

  12. I would really like to know the name of the sculptor for the statue of the sailor lighting a cigarette and where exactly it is located.

  13. The depot is located at 225 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis. I don't know the name of the sculptor.