Tuesday, November 26, 2013

North Star Blankets

North Star Blankets by William 74
North Star Blankets, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The former North Star Woolen Mill, near St. Anthony Falls. Built in 1864, by the mid 1920's the North Star mill was the nation's largest producer of wool blankets. Part of an effort to make Minneapolis a center for textile manufacture, the North Star mill remained in use until the 1940's when production was moved to Ohio. The building sat empty until 1998, when it was re-developed into lofts.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Electroliner by William 74
Electroliner, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
We looked at the Electroliner earlier this year, after the IRM had it on a rare day on display outdoors. I really like a lot of the details on this train-everything fits into the late 30's/early 40's design aesthetic, from the interior to the iconic Electroliner script on the outside.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Uptown Station

Uptown Station by William 74
Uptown Station, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The historic Uptown Station in Chicago. Now known as Wilson on the Red Line, Uptown used to be a main stop on both the Northwestern Elevated as well as the North Shore Line interurban. In fact, the current building (the third station at Wilson Avenue) was built as a joint venture between the two lines, and featured multiple entrances for the two railroads. This sign is at the original entrance, and for many years was hidden behind advertising for a store that eventually filled the space.

Currently, Uptown Station is kind of run down-the fast food restaurant that was in this space has closed, as did the doughnut shop at the side entrance, and the interior isn't in the best shape anymore. But it does retain much of it's original architecture and fixtures, and is certainly worthy of preservation.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Depot

The Depot by William 74
The Depot, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The former Milwaukee Road passenger and freight depot in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now repurposed as The Depot, with a hotel, restaurant, and an indoor skating rink in the former train shed.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pillsbury A-Mill

Pillsbury A Mill by William 74
Pillsbury A Mill, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The former Pillsbury A-Mill, along St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Built in 1881, the A-Mill was at one time the largest flour mill in the world and also ran two of the largest direct drive water wheels, at 1200 horsepower each. Built with load bearing stone walls with internal wood bracing, the A-Mill is six stories, with each floor originally having a specific use. Due to the vibrations of the milling machines, in 1905 the building was partially rebuilt and fortified, and the walls still bow out noticeably at the top. Unlike a lot of other older flour mills, the A-Mill never had a fire, and still retains it's original wood framing (and an excellent neon sign atop the silos).

Production finally ceased at the A-Mill in 2003, and the building has been empty ever since. Plans are currently afoot to turn the complex into lofts and studio spaces, while retaining the historic exterior of the mill.