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Reminiscing About The Itasca

September 8, 2010

Well now. I just got myself all excited about moving back downtown to the warehouse district. Which probably won’t be for another ten years, if it happens at all.

When The Big Nugget and I first hooked up, we lived in the Itasca Building. Here it is:

We had a nice little loft on the 5th floor. The bathroom had an awesome skylight and we had our own stackable washer/dryer before they were even invented! I know! How could that be?

Horst (founder of Aveda) lived in the building at the time. He was quite the character. Very fashionable and always accompanied by women who’s hair was identical to each other and similar to his. A style that is not represented in this photo. He had a page boy sort of look back in 1987.

The building was (and is according to the information on the loft’s website) pet friendly. So pet friendly, I think that one of the other tenants was a little black cat. You’d be riding up or down on the elevator and it would stop at a random floor, the door would open and there would be no person waiting, just the cat. The cat would  get on the elevator and ride until it stopped. Then the cat would get off and go wherever it was that loft cats go until the cat got on the elevator again. I never saw a person with that cat. What’s even more odd is that you had to use a key to get onto floors 3-6. There was a little vestibule off of the elevator on each floor (except the 2 public floors) I don’t know where that cat kept his/her key. S/he had no purse or wallet. We just always let the cat onto our floor and the cat would go, like I said, wherever it was that loft cats go.

The Bassett Creek ran under the building and there was a Bassett Creek Saloon in the basement of the building. Also in the basement was Raleigh’s Ribs and The Acme Comedy Co.

It looks like Acme is still there and that the Basset Creek Saloon has been replaced with a restaurant called Sticks. I’ll have to go and check it out.

We lived a couple of floors above this glass block, that covered the floors below, keeping the residential area private from the public area below. There was another glass covering going over the creek, down in the warehouse’s basement.

When we lived there, a local pop music radio station (99.5 FM, WLOL) broadcast from the first floor. I used to wave good morning to the DJs every morning while on my walk to work. I worked downtown so it was a great commute. As long as it wasn’t raining. If it was raining (or snowing) I had to run a few blocks to get into the Minneapolis skyway system. Once there, it was a dry walk across downtown. I worked in The Lincoln Center at the time which was pretty much at the opposite end of downtown.

Look at that skyway map! I miss my skyways!

When we talk about moving back downtown we talk about moving to the east side of the city. Near the new Guthrie Theater. Some day.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 11:32 pm

    OK, being an outdoors sort of gal, whenever you talk about moving “back downtown”, I sort of cringe and wonder how in the world you could think that would be a GOOD thing. But after this entry, you actually have me rooting for you. The skyways are too cool, and I love the description of that building!

    Here’s to the Empty Nest and the Downtown Loft!

  2. September 9, 2010 9:01 am

    I wonder how that cat paid its rent…

  3. September 9, 2010 9:23 am

    I want that cat. Oh, wait. I have one of those. Anyway, the Ba lived right ‘behind’ you at that time! I can’t for the life of me remember what those lofts were called, but they were the light colored brick ones that used to be closest to the river. Before they went and built a whole new ‘subdivision’ closer to the river. That area Needs you!

  4. September 9, 2010 11:07 am

    This whole entry made me want to move to Minneapolis and buy a condo in that building. Skyways! What a brilliant idea! I looked at a couple of colleges up there (Carleton and Macalester) and I was impressed by their tunnels leading from building to building. Even though I went to college at William and Mary where it doesn’t snow, it would have helped to have tunnels or skyways or SOMETHING when we got springtime deluges which rendered the picturesque brick walkways into veritable lakes. I got my money’s worth out of my LL Bean duck shoes, fo’ sho’. I wasn’t fashionable, but I was DRY.

  5. September 9, 2010 8:47 pm

    What a beautiful and exciting place to live – makes the suburbs look like Dullsville. My cat has a little fat pouch on her belly – I bet you THAT’S where the apartment cat hid her key!!

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