Abbott Hospital 04/08

In 1902 Dr. Amos Wilson Abbott established a small hospital for women in a former house at 10 East 17th Street. In 1910, grateful for the care Abbott had provided to his wife Kate, industrialist William Dunwoody allocated funds for a new building to be built for Dr. Abbott’s hospital. This 1910 hospital building, sometimes called the Dunwoody Building, recognizable by its pitched roof, front balustrade, and rows of windows, sought to maximize natural light in its interior.

In 1919 Thomas Janney had a four-story Children’s Hospital constructed on the same block, just north of the Abbott Hospital for Women. The Janney Hospital became a part of Abbott Hospital upon Janney’s death in 1921. In 1929, 1939, and 1957, additions funded through the Hospital’s affiliation with Westminster Presbyterian Church a few blocks to the north connected the two buildings and extended the hospital along 18th street to Stevens Avenue, and filling an entire city block. The main hospital entrance was moved to 110 East 18th Street, and the entrances on 1st Avenue were closed.

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ADM Mill 01/08

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) is one of the world’s leading processors and distributors of agricultural products for food and animal feed, with additional operations in transportation and storage of such products. Its principal operations are in the processing of soybeans, corn, and wheat, the three largest crops in the United States. ADM also processes cocoa beans, milo, oats, barley, and peanuts.

The company’s feed products are sold to farmers, feed dealers, and livestock producers, while its food products are sold to food and beverage manufacturers. Among ADM’s better-known products are NutriSoy, a soy protein; Novasoy Isoflavones, an ingredient used in dietary supplements; xanthan gum, a thickening agent used in food products such as salad dressings; citric acid and lactic acid, both used as food additives in food and beverage products to increase their acidity; natural vitamin E; and ethanol, an additive made from corn that is added to gasoline to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

With 247 processing plants (including those owned, leased, or operated in joint ventures) in the United States and 121 overseas, Archer-Daniels-Midland calls itself the ‘Supermarket to the World.’ For most of its history, ADM was quiet and conservative; however, in the mid-1990s the company hurtled into the headlines through its involvement in price-fixing schemes involving citric acid and the livestock feed additive lysine.
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Bureau of Mines 07/09

For most of the 20th century, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) was the primary United States Government agency conducting scientific research and disseminating information on the extraction, processing, use, and conservation of mineral resources.

Founded on May 16th, 1910, through the Organic Act (Public Law 179), to deal with a wave of catastrophic mine disasters, the mission of the Bureau of Mines expanded over the years to include:
The conduct of research to enhance the safety, health, and environmental impact of mining and processing of minerals and materials.

The collection, analysis, and dissemination of information about mining and processing of more than 100 mineral commodities across the Nation and in more than 185 countries around the world.

Analysis of the impact of proposed mineral-related laws and regulations upon the national interest.

Production, conservation, sale, and distribution of helium for essential government activities

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Cameron Transfer & Storage Co. 07/09

DialSMALLThe Cameron Transfer and Storage Building is a four-story warehouse designed and engineered by Claude Allen Porter (C.A.P.) Turner, the internationally famous, Minneapolis-based structural engineer.

Built in the early 1900s this historically significant building has sat vacant for the past decade.

Schafer Richardson is excited to begin the historic rehabilitation of this unique building in the summer of 2014.

This project will redevelop the former warehouse into 44 units of workforce housing.

The first of this kind of development in the North Loop Neighborhood since 2001.

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Ford Ranger Plant 10/12

FordMainsIn 1912 the first assembly and sales activities were started in a former warehouse in Minneapolis by Ford Motor Company. Nowadays Twin Cities Assembly Plant is located next to the Mississippi River in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. It was in operation from 1925 to 2011. At the time of its closure it was the oldest Ford plant still in operation.

The plants final products were the Ford Ranger pickup truck and the similar Mazda B-Series. Previously, the plant had manufactured the Ford Model T, Model TT truck, Sportsman convertible, Galaxie, and LTD.

From 1926 to 1959 the plant produced glass for vehicle windows with silica mined from sandstone on site. The resulting tunnels underneath the plant remain.

The plant produced its last vehicle on December 16, 2011.

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Glenwood Grain Elevator 11/07

ConAgra was founded in 1919 by Frank Little and Alva Kinney, who brought together four grain mills as Nebraska Consolidated Mills. Initially headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska, it moved to Omaha in 1922. The company ran at a profit until 1936, when Kinney retired. In 1940, the company began producing flour at its own mill, and in 1942 ventured into the livestock feed business.

After researching new uses for their flour, Nebraska Consolidated Mills (NCM) funded the establishment of Duncan Hines in 1951 as a way to market more flour by selling cake mixes. This venture was very successful, leading the company to its current place as the third largest flour miller in the U.S. However, this did not lead NCM to consider other food ventures, and instead they sold their assets in Duncan Hines to Procter & Gamble in 1956. As American households purchased more and more prepared and instant foods in the 1950s and 1960s, NCM chose not to expand into the businesses that used their flour, instead turning in the opposite direction and focusing more on raw foods like poultry and expanding its livestock feed business.

Nebraska Consolidated Mills later in 1971 changed its name to ConAgra.

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Grandma’s Saloon & Deli 07/09

Grandma’s Restaurant Company was founded on the legend of Grandma Rosa and based on the principle of pleasing customers one at a time. Legend has it a young Italian immigrant named Rosa Brochi opened her first boarding house to lonely sailors in the Great Lakes port of Duluth, MN, near the turn of the 20th century. It was here that she started a lifelong commitment to customer satisfaction.

Although its no longer boarding house, founder of Grandma’s Restaurant Company, Andy Bord and Mick Paulucci, have based their success on the principle of Customer Safisfaction. Continuing in Rosa’s tradition, her “Grandsons” ensure that each employee receives detailed training that focuses on warmth, knowledge, teamwork, sincerity, respect, and above all, customer service.

Executive chefs in every restaurant make Grandma’s recipes an experience rather than just a meal. Since the “conversion” of the original restaurant on shores of Lake Superior in 1976, Grandma’s Restaurant Company has expanded its operations to include nine casual dining concepts and two retail operations throughout the state of Minnesota.
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GTA Headhouse 08/08

The Saint Paul Municipal Grain Terminal, also known as the head house (a six-story grain elevator) and sack house, sits on piers over the Mississippi River in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was built between 1927 and 1931 as part of the Equity Cooperative Exchange and is a remnant of Saint Paul’s early history as a Mississippi River port city. The Saint Paul Municipal Grain Terminal was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

The structure is nationally significant as the first successful grain terminal elevator owned and operated by a farm cooperative in the United States. At one time the facility included 90 grain silos, a small mill, the head house for loading grain onto barges and train cars, and the sack house for sacking milled flour.

Currently the complex is unused and in serious disrepair. There have been plans to restore the buildings and turn them into a restaurant and interpretive center.

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Hamms Brewery

The brewery’s history is almost synonymous with that of St. Paul.

In 1865, German immigrant Theodore Hamm became the owner of a small brewery overlooking Swede Hollow when the previous owner defaulted. Hamm had no experience in the trade, but his brewery grew over the next 20 years to cover 4 acres.

The family business stayed there for another century, overseen by three generations of Hamms and eventually a lovable mascot, the Hamm’s Bear.

The company went through a series of sales before landing under the auspices of Stroh’s, its final owner. Over the course of 30 years, Hamm’s and a string of neighboring employers vacated the East Side, including Whirlpool in 1984 and 3M in the latter half of the last decade. Hamms stopped production at the end of 1997.

Now, Flat Earth Holdings, LLC, the company better known as the Flat Earth Brewing Co., has signed a licensing agreement with St. Paul to locate in a portion of the old brewery site.

The company will move into buildings No. 7 and No. 8 in a long-vacant section of the Hamm’s Brewery off Minnehaha Avenue. Company president John Warner said he plans to occupy about 50,000 square feet.

“We’re not doubling our space,” said Warner, whose brewery now occupies a modest site by Pearson’s Candy on West Seventh Street. “We’re 14-timesing our space.”

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High Bridge Coal Power Plant 08/08

The High Bridge generating plant has been a fixture and visible presence in St. Paul since 1923, and it remains a critical source of electricity for downtown St. Paul and the surrounding community. The High Bridge MERP project involves replacing our existing coal-powered facility with a natural gas-fired combined-cycle unit.

A natural gas-fired, combined-cycle plant produces electricity from two sources of energy instead of one. Natural gas is used as a fuel in a combustion turbine, similar to a jet engine. Exhaust from the combustion turbine also is used to make steam in a heat recovery steam generator. Both sources of energy then drive turbines and electric generators to produce electricity. Integrating combustion turbine and steam turbine technology provides an extremely efficient electricity production process.

Found on Xcelenergy.com
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Island Station 01/08

Island Station Power Plant is a decommissioned coal power plant on the Mississippi River less than a mile up-river from downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul Gas & Light Company commissioned construction of the plant in 1921. In 1923, before construction was even complete, a more efficient technology for burning coal was developed, rendering the plant obsolete before it even opened.

The plant came online in 1926 and operated at three-fourths the intended capacity until 1943 when it was shifted to an off-peak use and only produced power 6-10 weeks per year. In 1975, Northern States Power Co. (who acquired the plant shortly after it was finished) decommissioned the plant and used it for storage.

Plans for redevelopment have hit road blocks, the most recent being a city study of the historical significance of the building.

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NSC Plant aka Potatoland 07/11

For over 100 years, the Michael Foods family of businesses has been growing and coming together to provide specialized resources in order to offer the finest products and solutions to our customers and consumers.

Today Michael Foods, Inc. offers a full line of dairy case and refrigerated potato products and is the world’s largest supplier of processed eggs. You’ll find quality and great taste in our family of consumer and food service brands.


Northern Star®, a leading producer of refrigerated potato products, was founded in 1951. Northern Star specializes in a variety of refrigerated (but never frozen) potato products for both the foodservice and consumer markets. In 1987, Northern Star joined the Michael Foods Family.

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Pillsbury “A” Mill 2009

In 1879, after five years of secret planning, Charles Alfred Pillsbury announced to the public that he would build the largest and most advanced mill the world had ever seen. He had traveled to mills all over the world, searching for the best technique for milling flour on a large scale. Despite the convention of the time, Pillsbury decided that he wanted his new mill to be designed by an architect in order to make the building visually appealing. An architect named LeRoy S. Buffington, with the loose advice of several engineers, carried out the design.

Construction started in 1880 and was finished in 1881 under a contractor named George McMullen. The mill was built to put out 5,000 barrels a day when a 500-barrel mill was considered large. It attracted a lot of attention from many people who thought that there was no practical need for a mill to ever exist due to the demand of flour in the day. For some years the mill was not run at its intended capacity. Part of the building was used as a warehouse and for other purposes.

Due to vibrations of milling machines and poor design in 1905 the mill was fortified and certain sections were rebuilt. To this day the walls bow 22 inches on the top. Unlike other similarly large mills in the area, most notably the Washburn A Mill, the Pillsbury A Mill never exploded or caught fire. And as a result, it still contains its original wood frame.

As the years progressed, mill output picked up due to technological advances in the milling industry. However other larger mills were created elsewhere and the sparkle that once surround the great mill left.

The building is a National Historic Landmark and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
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Purina “Chow Plant”12/07

Purina Mills, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of animal feed products in the United States, producing more than five million tons of feed each year. Through its 50 feed mills, the company produces thousands of feed formulations specially designed for various types of animals, including beef and dairy cattle, goats, horses, sheep, pigs, poultry, pets, and lab and zoo animals. Purina also operates more than 35 retail outlets, which sell animal feed, lawn and garden supplies, hardware, and related items.

1894: The Robinson-Danforth Commission Company is founded.
1902: Company name is changed to Ralston Purina Company. Company adopts the red-and-white checkerboard logo.
1986: Ralston Purina sells its Purina Mills subsidiary to British Petroleum.

1993: British Petroleum sells Purina Mills to a management group led by the Sterling Group, of Houston, Texas.
Purina Mills rolls out America’s Country Store retail chain, begins buying and reselling hogs in an effort to bolster swine feed sales.
Koch Industries acquires Purina Mills.
Purina Mills files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
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Ramada Inn 06/08

Ramada opened its first hotel – a 60-room facility – on U.S. Route 66 at Flagstaff, Arizona in 1954 and set up its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, where the chain built the Sahara Hotel on North 1st Street downtown in 1956 (which later became the Ramada Inn Downtown) and a 300-room Ramada Inn in the 3800 block of East Van Buren in 1958 that would become the chain’s flagship property and headquarters. Mr. Isbell, like his contemporary, KemmonsWilson, the founder of the Holiday Inn hotel chain, devised the idea of building and operating a chain of roadside motor hotels while he was on a cross-country trip with his wife, Ingrid, and their three children. On that trip, Isbell noted the substandard quality of roadside motor courts along US highways at the time. He saw the possibility in the developing market for a chain of roadside motor hotels conveniently located along major highways which would provide lodgings with hotel-like quality at near-motel rates plus amenities such as TV, air conditioning, swimming pools and on-premises restaurants.

The name “Ramada” is derived from the Spanish term “rama” (meaning branch) and was applied to temporary open air structures called Ramadas that were made of brush or branches (similar to an arbor) and were popular in Arizona during harvest time. Company websites commonly refer to the structure as a “shady resting place.”

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Sartell Paper 09/13

SartellMainSThe original company, Watab Pulp and Paper, was conceived by a group of lumbermen from Wisconsin and Michigan and was formed on May 10, 1905. The plant started operations with No. 1 paper machine in September, 1905. No. 2 paper machine was built in 1910. The company then produced newsprint until 1930, when the conversion to groundwood book and magazine papers began.

During the 1930s, recycled magazines were a prime source of wood pulp. The waste magazines were brought by rail from Chicago in bales weighing up to 2,000 pounds. In the “sorting room,” paper clips and staples were removed. The waste was then sent to the cookers for deinking and bleaching. The conversion plant operated through the 1930s until the end of World War II.

At the end of the war, the mill closed the finishing operation where paper was sheeted and cut to size. Since that time, all paper manufactured at Sartell has been shipped in roll form.

On May 29, 2012, there was an explosion at the paper mill that resulted in a large fire. It killed one man and injured 4 others. It took fourteen fire departments to put out the fire. The mill has been around longer than the city of Sartell.

Sadly, on August 2, 2012, Verso announced that the Sartell mill would remain shut down permanently, putting about 260 employees out of work and ending over a century of papermaking in Sartell.

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Silgan Containers 08/09

The old Silgan Containers factory is a sprawling heavy manufacturing complex covering eight acres on ——— just north of ———- — in ——-. The oldest building dates to 1889, and by 1926 4 more additions increased the floor space to 150,000 square feet. Three more expansions in the mid fifties added another 300,000 square feet, and at that time the ——- — Company was the largest supplier of metal cans in the US, with dozens of factories around the country.

The complex is currently owned by Silgan Containers Corporation, a company founded in 1987 that bought out the metal food can manufacturing operations of Carnation, Campbell’s Soup, Del Monte, and American National Can, and winner of The Canmaker magazines “Can of the Year” award in 1999 for it’s 2-piece Spam can. Silgan has discontinued production at this facility and is gutting it in preparation for sale.
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Superior Plating 04/12

Superior Plating, Inc. has been in business for over 90 years, and has grown to be one of America’s largest finishing job shops. Superior Plating’s main plant occupies the entire block facing First Avenue NE at University Avenue NE in Minneapolis. This plant is 110,000 square feet which contains the reception room, offices, laboratories, all employee facilities, plant utilities and the factory area.

As recently as September 2011, all 35 production lines were humming, manned by about 100 workers. But with a tough economy and its business going to cheaper foreign metal platers, the company decided to close its doors.

Superior got a reprieve a few months ago when its unionized workforce agreed to wage concessions, said President Michael McMonagle. But when a plan to raise new capital faltered, Superior had no choice but to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November.

Bankruptcy court records show that CCGS Finance LLC has agreed to pay $2.5 million for the land, which includes a 110,000-square-foot building and an adjacent parking lot. The sale also is subject to the cleanup of the land, which has been listed since 1984 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as a Superfund site. Groundwater there is contaminated with solvents. Because Superior doesn’t have the money to pay for the cleanup, a parent company of CCGS has agreed to loan Superior up to about $1.3 million in debtor-in-possession financing, using the property as collateral.

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Upper Harbor Terminal 04/09

This is The Port of Minneapolis, a city-owned barge terminal that is operated by River Services, Inc. Truck traffic makes this a dangerous place. Almost any non-hazardous commodity may be present at this terminal, including grain, lumber, phosphate fertilizer, seed oil, steel, twine, paper, pipes, and salt. The igloo-shaped storage tanks are used for solids, and some are insulated to keep stored products from freezing into one large chunk. Several very large insulated liquid storage tanks are near the road. These tanks are not currently used, note the vegetation taking root on their roofs. These tanks were for asphalt oil and other heavy oils which need the insulation to keep stored product warm enough to be pumpable. Note the dike around the large tanks, required to keep the contents of the tanks from flowing to the river and streets if the tanks ever should rupture.

The Upper Harbor Terminal is one of only four remaining active barge facilities above the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. The others are Holcim Cement (RM 857.4), American Iron (RM 856.3) and Aggregate Industries (RM 855.9). The According to its “Above the Falls Master Plan” Minneapolis’ long-term plans for the property include converting the riverfront portion of the land to a new park and redeveloping the portion of the land further from the river as housing.
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West Publishing & Ramsey County Jail 09/15


Having outgrown a facility constructed in 1979, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office vacated the nine-story adult detention center in 2003.

West Publishing, which got its start in St. Paul in 1872, moved its headquarters to a new manufacturing campus in Eagan at the outset of the 1990s, where it remains a legal publishing unit of Thomson-Reuters.

Ramsey County Government Center West was home to the county attorney’s office, property records and revenue, human resources and public health offices until the fall of 2008, when the county began moving staff to more modern facilities with better parking, such as 90 Plato Blvd. and the Metro Square building downtown.

By August 2013, the West complex was empty.

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