The city re-imagined. Luxury living downtown, c. 1965. River Towers was part of the massive reconstruction of the Minneapolis Gateway, which was demolished between 1958 and 1963. As part of an ambitious effort to re-make the city’s historic heart, this project bulldozed 40 percent of the downtown area known as the Lower Loop. The goal was to rid the city of the largest skid row between Chicago and Seattle, an area seen as a “cancer” by city leaders, who believed that the neighborhood of flop houses, bars and missions threatened the health of the entire community. This project inaugurated a new period for urban redevelopment. The federal government provided the funds for the work, which was the largest urban renewal project undertaken to date in the United States.
The historic image shown here is part of a cache of photos that team Historyapolis recently discovered at the Hennepin History Museum. Thanks to Susan Larson-Fleming for sharing the archival material with us. And thanks to citizen researcher Rita Yeada for her willingness to spend some serious time with the scanner so that we could share with the rest of you.