Tag Archive | Foshay Tower

Minneapolis – The Foshay – First Skyscraper in Minnesota!


9-19-15

The big moment we have been waiting for, our ascent to the 30th floor Observation Deck of The Foshay  in Minneapolis.  It was now 1:40 PM. It has only been open 8 years so we chose a good time to visit. The building once dominated the Minneapolis skyline, but now it is surrounded by other taller skyscapers. Not all views are blocked however. It was constructed in 1929 and named after the founder, Wilbur Foshay.

Foshay Tower - W Minneapolis Hotel

See some local news coverage about the tower.

We went in to get our tickets at the desk, such cool lighting inside.

Foshay Tower entrance

Foshay lobby

Foshay Lobby 2

The clerk gave us a special key card to get us to the 30th floor.  We’re here!

30th Floor at Foshay

There is more than the observation deck here, we also enjoyed the museum on this floor before going out.

Museum at Foshay

The original program for the dedication of the building.

Dedication program of Foshay

The other side of the museum. Here you can see the stairs to the deck and in the far left corner is a video alcove.

Foshay Museum 2nd Half

We learned John Phillips Sousa was comissioned to write a special a special march to be played during the tower dedication in 1929.  That was the only time this was performed for many decades. The reason being Mr. Foshay’s check to him in payment for writing and playing the music bounced. Sousa forbade the piece from being performed again until payment was made.  Sousa’s estate was finally paid in the 1990’s by the citizens of Minneapolis raising the money.  Now you can hear it too.

Foshay March Sousa info

Now that we saw the museum, time to go out on the deck!

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The deck as you can see is open air and you are well enclosed. I could see places where we had been while exploring the city today.  We could see the Basilica of St. Mary. Also a train behind it.

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Also Target Field, where the Minnesota Twins play baseball. I could see right inside the stands!

Minnesota Twins Stadium

Other views. There were free viewing scopes at each corner (except West)

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The building right across from us.

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A rooftop garden at the Hilton Garden Inn right across from us.

Hilton Garden Inn in Minneapolis

You could see St. Paul, the air was quite clear. We were going there to explore on Sunday.

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We completed our tour here, it was now 3 PM and we had a great time! Plan on taking a minimum of an hour here to see everything.

Minneapolis – City By Nature


9-18, 19, 20-2015

Day 1- 9/18

We arrived in Minneapolis in pouring rain around 6 PM after leaving home about 12 hours earlier.  On the way we saw Pickwick Mill and Pepin while traveling the Great River Road.  Tired and hungry,  we stopped for dinner at Saguaro ( Arizona/Mexican cuisine). Turns out it is one of he best Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis.  We have to agree! The staff were friendly and we enjoyed our experience there.

Saguaro restaurant in Minneapolis

Saguaro inside

Our dinners, we both chose the Taco Platter, but you could do a lot of mixing and matching. A great way to end our day and relax after a long day on the road.

Saguaro Dinner 9-18-15

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Day 2 – 9/19

The rain was gone and we were ready for adventure!  We took care of some family business first. My maternal Grandmother and her sister grew up here and we went to the Lyndale neighborhood where they lived.  Saw my former great-grandparent’s house, now rented by two tenants. It was good to see it again after 15 years.

Great Grandma's house 2015

We also went to the other side of their block where my teen grandma picked up some groceries for the family. I don’t know what it was called then but now it’s Kyle’s Market, open 9 to 9 daily.

Kyle's Market in Minneapolis

We also paid respects to my great-grandparents and great-aunt at Lakewood Cemetery along the shores of Lake Calhoun.  We also discovered the Pillsbury family is buried here, we could see the tall monument from my family’s grave site.  More on Pillsbury later.

Pillsbury family monument in Minneapolis

On our way to our next place we saw a vintage White Castle Hamburger building, now Xcentric Goods.

Xcentric Goods antiques in Minneapolis

We soon arrived Minnehaha Park, a popular park for over a century.  It’s also the center point of the founding of Minneapolis.  On location is the Princess Depot that used to bring people to the park on a train. Now, it’s a museum open seasonally.

Minnehaha Depot in Minneapolis

Minnehaha Depot Marker and picture

The first settler of Minneapolis, Colonel John H. Stevens  is memorialized here with his former home turned into a museum. Also a statue in front of the house.

John H. Steven's House in Minneapolis

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We happened to be there when the groundskeepers were making their rounds (you can see them behind the statue). Even though the museum was not really open for visitors at 7:45 AM, they did for us since they are just nice people 🙂 Lets go in! There is a plaque just outside of the door.

John H. Stevens House plaque

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That was fun, thanks for the great tour!  Now we proceeded to the other great attraction of this park, Minnehaha Falls.  As we got closer, you could hear the rush of water. The sunrise was illuminating the mist the falls created, beautiful!

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An interesting fact, President Johnson visited the falls in 1964, they marked where he stood in concrete and you can stand there too.

President Johnson's Visit at Minnehaha Falls

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There were stairs going down to the bottom of the falls, offering this view.

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The park also has a large pavilion for events.

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It was now almost 9, time for our next attraction.  We were treated to a great skyline view on the way!

Minneapolis Skyline view

The Basilica of St. Mary was our next stop, very beautiful!

Basillica of St. Mary in MinneapolisIMG_3279

We crossed the street to Walker’s Art Center and Sculpture Park to take our picture with the trademark Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.  We were not the only ones taking selfies here  🙂 here is ours.

Greetings From Minneapolis!

The frame around the picture tells you what was coming up next.  It was time for lunch and we had it in the historic Band Box Diner.  There is only one in the whole city, and world!    We are lucky to have been able to eat there at all.  In March 2015 the 30-year old grill stopped working and they didn’t have enough money to  buy a new one. Not to worry though,  the customers banded together and raised the funds to buy a NEW GRILL!  We are so happy they did, this landmark restaurant is too good to close!

Band Box selfie

Bandbox inside

After lunch, time for our biggest attraction for today, Foshay Tower.  The W Minneapolis Hotel is also in this building.  It has the only sky deck in the Twin Cities for visitors to enjoy, the view is from 30 stories up.  For adults not staying there, it’s $8 to go to the sky deck. What a wonderful view! You could see St. Paul, also the Minnesota Twin’s Target Field inside the stands.

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St. Paul from Foshay Tower

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Our last stop for the day was St. Anthony Falls and Heritage Trail. Here is our location.

Mill Ruins Park and St. Anthony Falls  Heritage Trail

By then it was 3:30 and we had until 5, when we went to have dinner with some relatives.  A beautiful afternoon with many people there enjoying the day.

St. Anthony Falls and bridge

On the other side of the bridge you could see the remnants of the former flour-milling era.

Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories

Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories

Along the trail are also free viewing scopes that kids really enjoy looking in.

Sight seeing scopes for viewing

The trail goes by Mill Ruins Park, which is still undergoing development but the first phase is what you see here.

Mill Ruins Park sign

It is also a popular wedding venue, you could see the wedding party taking photos below.

Mill Ruins Park wedding

Mill Ruins Park 2

You could also see Mill City Museum from the trail, not enough time to stop there unfortunately. You could see people up there!

Mill City Museum in Minneapolis

A Segway Tour just went by us, they made a turn and went under our part of the trail on the Stone Arch Bridge.

Segway Tour on St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail

It was time to be on our way. We hear music from a street musician playing on his guitar as we head back.

Guitar Player at Mill Ruins Park

One thing we noticed about this friendly city, photo shoots!  We saw three today, there may have been more we didn’t know about.  We had a great day, on Sunday we were going to see some of St. Paul before going back to Madison.

Photoshoots in Minneapolis