Foshay Observation Deck

Foshay Observation Deck

Werner bracing for a slow exposure 32 stories over Minneapolis on the Foshay Observation Deck.

Last weekend I ventured on a Minneapolis Photo safari with Diane, Werner and Rob. Diane was the one that came up with the location — the observation deck of the 447 foot-tall 1929 Foshay Tower. The tower has an interesting history. It was completed just months before the 1929 stock market crash and had (according to Wikipedia) a fantastic dedication ceremony:

Foshay invited 25,000 guests to the dedication ceremony and provided all-expenses paid trips to many who included cabinet members, senators and congressmen. Half nude dancers entertained. Each guest received a gold pocket watch. The military gave 19-gun salutes. John Philip Sousa conducted music, including “Foshay Tower-Washington Memorial March” a march he wrote for the occasion. Foshay presented Sousa with a check for US$20,000.

But Sousa’s check bounced and soon after the building went to the creditors and poor Wilbur Foshay landed in jail and never was able to live in the apartment he built for himself on the 28th and 29th floors.


The tower held the record until the IDS Center was built in the 1970s. It eventually fell into disrepair and it disappeared from the public consciousness as other buildings surrounded it and hid it from view.


In 2006 it was purchased by local investors and everyone but Keys Cafe moved out as the building was converted into a W Hotel. On August 13th of 2008 the W opened with a museum on the 30th floor that leads to the 32nd floor observation deck.

Veteran's Hospital Building 10

Veteran’s Hospital Building 10

I’ve seen this building from across the Mississippi, but not until this summer did I venture onto hospital grounds and spend some time with old building #10. Apparently that’s it’s name, I circled it and found several signs all agreeing to call it #10.

Foshay Tower Downtown Minneapolis

Foshay Tower Downtown Minneapolis

The Foshay Tower used to be the tallest building in Minneapolis, but is now overshadowed by the modern glass buildings. The tower was recently renovated into a W hotel. Hip, trendy and cool, this old girl as a new look. The observation deck is now open! Check back over the next few days to see the view from the open-air 31st floor* 32nd floor observation deck! *According to Christy who works at the museum, the Museum is on the 30th floor, then there’s two flights of stirs up to the Observation Deck on the 32nd floor. I got mixed up on the stair count. :) Thanks Christy!

35W Bridge is Open!

35W Bridge is Open!

Alas, all is back to normal here in river city. It’s been tough on this great city to be essentially cut in half for just over a year. What was so shocking for all of us who didn’t lose anyone in the collapse is that everyone either crossed the bridge regularly or knew someone who did — 140,000 vehicles a day passed over the old bridge.

This first photo was taken from the Washington entrance ramp going North, ten minutes before the bridge opened. You can see the blue glow of the LED lights on the bridge.=
A parade of vehicles began a slow procession across the bridge, a row of troopers, a row of construction trucks and then the crowd that had assembled behind them, honking and hooting!