Lowertown Depot is neither a depot, nor is it in Lowertown. Its past is equally obtuse, blending the history of a railroad, an oil company, and the sandstone bluffs of St. Paul themselves.
Before it was demolished, one could venture above the tacky suspended ceiling of this movie house to revisit its Vaudeville past.
“It’s just across the parking lot,” the kids might say, “Let’s GO!” Into the dark/into the damp/into old Mather Mine.
“Glass City” was Jeanette’s nickname. Jeanette was the factory owner’s wife’s name. McKee Glass Company dates back to 1888 and in many ways typifies the postindustrial drift of the Midwest, and frankly I think it’s beautiful.
125 years after the fire that destroyed it, this early steamboat stop has its underground brought to light.
The Milwaukee Road cut through Montana with steel and electricity. It left behind depots, roundhouses, electrical substations, and even towns.
A Philadelphia doctor builds a 4-mile-long tunnel to drain hundreds of mines of ore and water. A crooked dentist turns Quartz Hill into a crater called The Glory Hole. Here is the stories of some of the mines connected to “The Mighty Argo” before a deadly mining accident closed most of the district down in 1943.
During the Cold War, the Twin Cities were protected by a ring of defensive nuclear missile bases. By 1972, they had all been closed and their stories began to diverge.
The Era of Steam grew forgetful in its old age and left one of its playthings behind. Mitchell Yards ran from 1906
This 1931 barge loader irked the City of St. Paul for decades–it literally sits over the Mississippi River, making it troublesome to demolish. It turns out that this concrete tower lasted just long enough to get redeveloped. See how, and learn the whole story.
This ammunition factory in the middle of the country produced 70% of the munitions for the US Navy at one time and employed 10,000 people. It closed in 1966.