Traditionally, on Photo Friday, I provide the photo and you provide the explanation. So here's a 1957 aerial photo of Southdale mall. Discuss.
Oh, all right. I'll provide a little more info. I know you all can identify the newly opened Southdale at the center of the photo, but you may not recognize the area south of the mall. Instead of the Galleria, you'll see the round Southdale Ford building, Gabbert's Furniture with the rounded arches on the roof, and at the bottom, the gravel pits. In this era when the auto was king, I see at least three gas stations and I think the Good Year tire store is at the upper right. What else do you see... or not see, as the case may be, since much of the area around the mall is still vacant.
To compare to the present day, here's the Earth view provided by Google Maps.
Okay, NOW you can discuss. Please comment here with your memories or insights about the Southdale area, then and now.
Happy Friday! The Edina History Museum is open tomorrow (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon, if you'd like to stop in.
Some of the "Then and Now" photo pairings showcased in "EdinaScapes" exhibit, now on display at the Edina History Museum. Current scenes photographed by Chip Jones.
Photographer Chip Jones clearly remembers his first camera: a Minolta XG-1 purchased from Southdale Dayton's photo department when he was attending Edina East High School.
In his mind's eye, he still sees Southdale as it looked during his childhood, with a film counter at Dayton's and the bird cage in the Garden Court.
So when I asked him to shoot the present day scenes of historic photos in our collections, he willingly volunteered for the task. The resulting paired "Then and Now" photos are part of our current "EdinaScapes" exhibit on display at the Edina History Museum until Dec. 21.
We originally envisioned a short-term display, but we both liked the images so much that the photos are nicely framed and part of our permanent collection. You can have a piece of Edina history too: the framed pairs (see right) are available to order for $120 each.
As you can see, Chip shot the present day scenes from the same angle and distance as the historic photos. Linhoff Photo worked with us to print and crop the photos to the same scale to get the look just right..
I love the display. And so have our visitors, who immediately can see what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- over time.
Chip tromped all over town to scout locations. Some scenes just didn't work, because trees or other buildings obscured the view. But we see the potential in doing more "Then and Now" projects with other photos in our collection.
I'm grateful that a professional photographer volunteered his time and talents, especially someone like Chip, who specializes in landscape photography from a fine arts perspective.
His passion for photography grew while working on his BFA in painting and drawing at the University of Minnesota, from where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He went on to receive his MFA in Film/Video from CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), a private art school founded by Walt Disney in Los Angeles, California with an advanced curriculum in Art, Dance, Film, Music and Theater.
Chip returned to Edina after college. He is married Megan Maloney, who also grew up in Ediina. He has been active on the Edina Public Art Committee, as well as the Crosstown Camera Club.
In addition to his business in internet marketing, he works with photography clients looking for artistic photos that fit a theme, such as a riverfront condominium wanting fine art photos of the river or a chamber of commerce requesting beautiful photos showing a strong business climate in their community.
His work can be seen locally at Jason's Deli at Centennial Lakes and the Town Planner calendar, as well as private offices. His website also has an Edina gallery.
Chip grew up wanting to paint and draw, but he found his art through the lens of his camera purchased from his hometown shopping mall.
In 1970, Windsor Publications, Inc., of California, published an advertising booklet about Bloomington, Richfield and Greater Edina. Although 90 percent of the pages were devoted to ads, a few pages of editorial copy extolled the virtues of the South Hennepin suburbs.
The brand new Fairview Southdale Hospital got two pages of great photos and some glowing text. Can you believe that the hospital is now more than 40 years old? Perhaps the expansion projects make me think the building is newer.
The photos above show that the traditional white nurses uniforms were still in vogue. (Side note: I remember those yarn pony tail ribbons from my childhood.)
But the photo below is the real thriller. The wide angle view takes in the Southdale Medical building as well as Southdale center. Anyone know what that round building is? (See left center.)
For more information on the hospital's history, see the story written by Joe Sullivan in the Winter 2008 issue of the city's quarterly newsletter About Town.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Some people know the name "Gus Young" only because of the street named after him in Edina. Lately, I have received a couple of emails from people asking who the man is behind the name. Here's one research request: Wondering if there is much information in the archives about the life and career of Gus Young, for whom Gus Young Lane in Edina is named. I'm aware that Gus Young's Biltmore Lanes (bowling alley) stood at that site for many years, and I would be interested in any additional information you might have.
Let's start by looking where Gus Young Lane is today, courtesy of Google maps.
And here's the area when Gus Young owned the Biltmore Lanes in the 1950s.
(I wrote about this area for our regular monthly feature, "Last Glance," in Edina Magazine. See article here in the June 2012 issue.)
And here is an ad from the 1959 Edina phone directory.
I wrote a little about Gus Young for a past exhibit on early suburban Edina:
The name on the sign might have been “Biltmore Lanes” but the Grandview area bowling alley was more commonly known as Gus Young’s. Gus made his claim to fame first by coaching at several high schools, as well as Carleton College and the University of Minnesota. He finished his coaching career at Gustavus Adolphus by dethroning the Hamline Pipers and winning MIAC basketball championships in 1954-1956.
“Biltmore Lanes was one of the most modern centers in the Twin Cities at the time,” according to Minnesota Bowling web site, with 32 lanes, automatic pinsetters, and lighted telescores. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Biltmore Lanes included a Pro Shop operated by Twin Cities bowling legend, Leo Mann.
“Gus was a decent bowler, but his contribution to the sport went beyond his skills. Gus believed in the value youth sports, whether it be bowling, basketball, baseball, and since it was the 60’s in Edina, I suppose I should mention hockey… Gus Young died on Halloween, October 31, 1977. The next year he was inducted into the Gustavus Adolphus Hall of Fame. The school’s basketball court is named after him, as well as an avenue in Edina. His legacy lives on…” Randy Ooney, writing for www.mnbowling.com.
Unfortunately, that was about all we had in our files. We don't even have a photo of Gus. So with a little intrepid investigation, I found one of his daughters, Margie Sampsell, who told me her parents also ran Southdale Lanes in Edina. She gladly agreed to find photos and other information about her parents and their businesses. I'll update you with any additions. If you can share any photos or memories about bowling in Edina, please comment here or email me.
2. Operation (Photo) Identification
I posted a few photos from the donated collection of former teacher Del Frederickson, and I'm happy to say most people are now identified.
Thanks to Jim Taylor for providing the names for this photo:
Dennis Hughes was president of the 1969/1970 Edina High School Student Council, and Steve Precht was vice-president. Also in this shot are Betsy Murphy, who was secretary, and Pete Spokes, who was treasurer (both class of 1971). I believe the fellow who is diligently writing is Drick Boyd, who was also a member of this Student Council.
3. Southdale comments
A couple of people wrote about a recent post on Southdale, From the Collection: Life Magazine on Southdale:
Nancy Hiatt commented: This certainly brought back memories. I lived in Richfield in the 60's, so Southdale was just west of us. One thing I remember was that the shopping center closed on Saturday nights at 6 pm. I loved watching the fishes and the birds!
Chris Rofidal wrote: That was great! I always thought Southdale was first, but now I know different. Thanks for the information!
Thanks to all who comment on blog posts. As you can see, readers can prompt me to dig a little deeper for information, assist us in archiving photos and provide a little validation for our work. It's always nice to know that the blog posts are read.
Happy Monday, everyone!
This article first appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of the Edina Historical Society newsletter. I thought of it again after my seven-year search for the Santrizos of the Convention Grill came to fruition. Here's the back story on how this journey began.
I’m no Indiana Jones. I don’t travel the world, swing over pits of poisonous snakes, and machete my way through a jungle to find ancient artifacts. But nonetheless, I am a treasure hunter.
Sure, many times people just walk in our door and give us great things. But sometimes, we have to hunt down things we want. Okay, so I’m never in any danger… I just search the Internet or the Edina directory, pick up the phone and simply ask (or sometimes gently nag) to get treasures for our collection.
To get items for our (2005) Morningside exhibit, we sent out flyers to the Morningside neighborhood, made personal pleas at Edina-Morningside Women’s Club meetings sent emails, and called dozens of people.
In response, we got several photos, Boy Scout and Edina-Morningside Church items (on loan), a Morningside phone book, papers from the re-annexation vote, and Constable George Weber’s handgun. (That's George with the gun in the photo at left. Yes, I know the quality of the photo is horrible. I scanned it from an creased newspaper clipping, undated and unnamed, but I'm guessing the source is the Minneapolis Tribune.)
While it seems un-Minnesotan to be so forthright, I also ask exhibit visitors to add to our collection.
As a result, Susan Linhoff Peck (whose parents started Linhoff Photo in Morningside) brought in a 1914 Morningside color map she found at a St. Cloud auction, and Betty Helmerichs O’Neil donated her 1939 Morningside Girl Scout uniform. Wendy Anderson sent us the mayoral badge and a photo of her grandfather Oscar Seidemann, former mayor of Morningside who “never left the house without his hat.”
We knew we wanted more information and photos about the Morningside businesses, so we tried to find the original owners. Finding women is especially difficult because their names change with marriage; some names like Carlson are just too common to be useful.
EHS volunteer Martha Johnson went to school with Marilyn Carlson, whose mother ran Carlson’s Odd Shop on Sunnyside and France Avenue. After some digging Martha found her, back in Edina after living in other states for several years. Marilyn was happy to share her photos with us.
I also wanted childhood photos of Curt Carlson, (not related to the Carlsons of Carlson’s Odd Shop) one of Minnesota’s wealthiest men who started his business career as a Morningside paper boy. I called Carlson Companies and was promised a call back. When I didn’t hear anything, Martha contacted the Carlson family, her former neighbors in the Country Club neighborhood. We got a photo of Curt and neighborhood friends at one of his birthday parties (see below), as well as his parent’s wedding photo.
Carlson’s parents ran a Morningside grocery store that they later sold to Lars Belleson. (Belleson's grocery is now the new co-op, but you might know the name from the 50th and France men's clothing store founded by son Wes Belleson.)
And yes, sometimes great stuff just walks in the door. One man asked why we didn’t have any photos of Joyce’s Bakery. When I said we were looking for the former owners, he said, “Well, that’s me.” Stan Rice bought the bakery from the Joyce family in the 1950s, and kept the name because of its fame in South Minneapolis and Edina. He turned out the same great breads and little cherry pies as his predecessor. He’s going to sort through his business stuff and return with items for our collection.
Flash forward to today: I spoke (wrote) too soon regarding Joyce's Bakery. Stan did not return with photos and it should come to no surprise to you after reading this post that I didn't leave it at that. I called him and found he had been having health issues. Understandably, looking through old business files didn't fall at the top of his list but he planned to get to it when he felt better. After some time, I called his number again and found it disconnected. I've called a few Rice families since then, all very nice, but not related to the Joyce's Bakery owner. The search continues.....
You might notice that the 2005 story didn't mention the Santrizos or the Convention Grill. At that point, we had some photos of the Convention in our collection so I wasn't looking for more necessarily. It wasn't until people talked so warmly about the former owners that I started my search for the photos of Pete and Christine Santrizos that were published on the blog yesterday - seven years after my quest began.
You can help!
Join us in our treasure hunt. See our wish list below, or look through your own boxes of memorabilia for anything that tells Edina’s story. These are just a few of my many wants for the museum:
Remember this movie theater?
Although it wasn't quite a "blink and you'll miss it" business that opened one year and closed the next, the Southdale Cinema (6901 France Aveune South) certainly didn't have the longevity of the Edina Theater at 50th and France (more than 75 years and still going strong) or even the Westgate Theater that lasted more than 35 years at Sunnyside and France.
Southdale Cinema survived about 14 years. It opened in 1966 as the first twin movie theater built in Minnesota (according to Cinema Treasures web site) and included an art gallery. In 1975, the theaters were divided to make four auditoriums.
The Southdale area business photos that we've been running on the past several "Photo Friday" posts prompted some readers recall the long gone cinema, which closed in 1990. Reader Jeff Strate gave me the link to these photos on Zeke Rice's Flickr site, and Zeke graciously granted permission for us to use them in the blog.
"My first job was at Southdale Cinema in Edina, MN, a fun mid-century theater that was built in 1966. I was working the last night it was open, August 16, 1990, and these are some pictures I took that night. The next day we had this horrible parade where the employees marched to the new theater, Centennial Lakes. Nothing like marching through a suburb in polyester uniforms. The Galleria mall expanded to this space after it was torn down. The final quality films that played: Die Harder, Air America, Arachnaphobia, Ducktales and Pretty Woman," he wrote on his Flickr site.
It was my first job, and I think I started there in 1989. At the time the fabulous mid-century design didn't stand out to me, but looking back now I just love it," he emailed.
Mid-century design is now considered pretty hip, thanks to shows like Mad Men, lights like these and the color orange has made a comeback. Zeke pointed out that movie theater seats were displayed in the lobby to promote the new location (and new comfy seating) at the Centennial Lakes theater.
Zeke took photos of his fellow employees the last night.
I wonder what the 1990 prices of concessions were?
"The day shift at the theater during the week was always pretty quiet, with only three people working (other than the manager): the box office (ticket seller), usher (ticket ripper), and concessions. The regular, day-time usher was an older man named Bill, who I remember being a little afraid of at first, but soon discovered he had a sly sense of humor - and a bit of a temper if someone tried to get in without getting their ticket ripped," Zeke continued.
"One day they was a flurry of excitement when the manager got a phone call - he told one of the employees to go to one of the back doors that exited directly from the auditorium to the parking lot. A few minutes later, I saw a rather short man and a scantily clad woman cross from one auditorium to the next - it was Prince, going to see a movie and attempting to be anonymous," Zeke wrote.
It wasn't the theater's first brush with fame; according to Cinema Treasures web site, Francis Ford Coppola screened Apocalypse Now there and got a lukewarm reception.
Centennial Lakes 8 (below) opened in 1990, and closed a couple of years after Southdale 16, another AMC theater, opened basically next door in 2001.
Zeke said he would ask other coworkers for their stories about Southdale Cinema and Centennial Lakes. What are your memories? If you have information about these theaters or any others in Edina (Yorktown Cinema Grill, France Avenue Drive-in), please comment here or email me.
Thanks to Zeke Rice for his photos and stories. Thanks also to Jeff Strate, who discovered Zeke's photos.
Anyone who has driven along 66th Street and passed Lake Cornelia has probably wondered, "Why was a road built in the middle of a lake?"
I know this because many of those people call the Edina History Museum and ask me the very same thing.
I didn't know the answer when I was first asked, but I knew who would: Frank Cardarelle, a fourth generation Edina resident and surveyor. The Class of 1951 graduate is too young to remember a time before the road was built, but he pointed out that planners (and landowners) generally like roads to run along section lines. And yes, 66th Street is on a section line.
Lake Cornelia, even today, is very shallow. Just 6.5 feet at the deepest. So while 66th Street runs through a lake, it's not like road builders had to dig the English Channel. Frank speculated that the road was probably built during the drought years of the 1930s.
How low did Lake Cornelia go?
Can you find the lake in the 1937 aerial photo above? Look at the upper left.
Give up? Here are the major landmarks labeled.
Here is a Google map of the area to help a little more.
As you can see in this close up, Lake Cornelia was actually two ponds in 1937. It even looks like crops were planted in Lake Cornelia that year.
These images come from a series of aerial photos that were shot during 1937. This was the first year that the Department of Agriculture took aerial photos in flyovers of the entire nation. We have images from 1951 and 2000 as well, and the changes in Edina over the years is astounding. You can practically see history in the making.
As we have with the other sets, we paid for the aerials to be professionally transformed into a full size poster graphic of Edina and will place it on our research library wall next to the other two. It was a hefty price: $845, without framing fees. If you would like to help support this project, please send your tax deductible contribution to the Edina Historical Society, 4711 West 70th Street, Edina, MN 55435. Or click on the GiveMN link below to pay by credit card.
Come in and see how your neighborhood was transformed. The aerial photo is the big topic of conversation lately for volunteers and visitors, old timers and newcomers alike. Regular museum hours are Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon.
First Southdale National Bank opened in September 1956, as one of the original tenants of Southdale Mall.
Here is an exterior image of the bank, with its drive-up window.
Here is an ad from the 1960 Edina phone directory, published by Minnesota Suburban Newspapers.
Seriously, it's all you this week, my friends. I can't write anything more without further research, and my "To Do" list is too long for that today. I'd love hear more though. Comment here or email me. Happy Friday!
Let's play a game called "Name that Gas Station."
Okay. I'll do the first one. Here is a Pure gas station by the Edina water tower next to Southdale.
According to the 1960 Edina Directory, this is the Southdale Pure Service at 3500 West 69th Street (not to be confused with the Edina Pure Oil Service at 50th and France (4049 West 50th Street), which was located across from what was then Clancy Drug.
The 69th Street address puts the gas station right on the Southdale mall property. There is no gas station there today, so I wondered if the address numbering system had changed. I was curious enough to look at aerial photos and determine that a structure that looks like a gas station stood at the same location in the 1950s. Anyone remember?
This one is harder to determine, for me anyway. So now it's your turn.
I can hear the crickets chirping. Without a name on the building, it's difficult to definitively identify the business, isn't it?
Here's what I can figure. The photo number places the building near Southdale, and the only other Southdale area gas station listed in the 1960 phone directory is Howard's Standard Service (3901 West 70th Street), where the BP gas station is today. This photo must have been taken shortly after it was built, judging from the "Open for Business" signs displayed. Look in the background of the photo and you can see a few new houses on treeless lots.
I am still on the lookout for photos of the Sinclair station, Edina's last full service station, which closed in December to make way for a retail development. See story in Edina Sun Current here.
Please note that our residential housing records are in address order and easy to locate. However, we do not have complete commercial tax records, just a limited number of photos in plat and parcel order. You can help: do you know more about the gas stations of Edina? Email me or comment here.
How many of you still call Macy's by its original name, Dayton's?
It's been 11 years, people. Eleven years since Dayton's changed its signs to Marshall Field's and seven years since Marshall Field's became Macy's. You would think it's beyond time to move past this.
And yet, I still say Dayton's.
For those of you who still wax nostalgically over the iconic Minnesota department store, this edition of Photo Friday is for you.
These photos were taken in 1959, three years after Southdale, the nation's first fully enclosed shopping center, opened.
It's difficult to see in the web version of the photo below, but you can see the Woolworth sign at the entrance to the right. Remember the distinctive parking lot lights and animal signs so you wouldn't forget where you parked? This one has a crocodile (or alligator?)
For you Donaldson's fans out there, here's the exterior of Southdale's second anchor tenant (below).
What memories do these photos bring back? Comment here or email me.
Search this blog:
Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
Thank you, your message has been sent
Support this blog!
Help us bring you Edina history with this web site by becoming a member or donating today. Click on the link to our GiveMN.org site to make a donation with a credit card. The Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that depends on contributions to continue operation.