Thursday, October 31, 2013

North Star Blankets

North Star Blankets by William 74
North Star Blankets, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The North Star Blankets ghost neon sign in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are a number of interesting signs and buildings right along the Mississippi in Minneapolis, as befits a river town I guess.

This one was given the through the viewfinder treatment with an old Kodak Duaflex.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

View From The Balcony

View From The Balcony by William 74
View From The Balcony, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The view of Millennium Park from the balcony of the Cliff Dwellers' Club, atop the Borg Warner Building on Michigan Avenue.

Taken during Open House Chicago on a glorious sunny fall day.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Foshay Tower

The Foshay Tower by William 74
The Foshay Tower, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Completed in 1929, the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis is an excellent Art Deco skyscraper. Long the tallest building in the city, the Foshay has a few interesting details. Most obvious are the large letters at the top of the building calling out the name, which are also illuminated at night (and visible from quite a ways out of the city). The outer walls also slope in as they rise,
making each floor a little smaller than the one below it, a function of the architect's desire to make the Foshay Tower resemble the Washington Monument. The interior was very luxurious, featuring intricately carved African mahogany, marble, Terrazzo, a silver and gold plated ceiling, and hand-wrought iron fittings.

Finally, the building has it's own march, composed by John Philip Sousa. The dedication ceremony for the Foshay was almost impossibly lavish, with building owner Wilbur Foshay inviting 25,000 people, guests recieving gold pocket watches, and music conducted by Sousa, who composed the "Foshay Tower-Washington Memorial March" for the occasion. The march was only played once during Foshay's lifetime, though-his empire soon crumbled, and the check written to Sousa for his work famously bounced. Sousa refused to allow the song to be played until the debt was paid, which didn't happen until 1988, to Sousa's estate.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Oil, Coal Gas, Furnaces

Ghost by William 74
Ghost, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Ghost sign in Batavia, Illinois. It's one of the few ghosts left in this town, although I haven't been able to figure out what the name of the original shop was.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Centennial by William 74
Centennial, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Union Pacific's EMD DDA40X Centennial locomotive, parked at the Illinois Railway Museum. I wish I'd have been able to see it running-the only other Centennial I've seen is the IRM's own example, which is currently non-operational.