I decided that I wanted to go downtown Minneapolis yesterday afternoon. After having been on winter break for a few days, I wanted to get out and enjoy the big city atmosphere that we do not have in southern Minnesota.
So, I hopped in the car with my brother, and we headed downtown. We parked by the Minneapolis Convention Center, and proceeded to walk around town.
We didn’t exactly have any big plans; I just wanted to walk around and see the town. We ended up having a great time.
After just a couple block stroll, I spotted WCCO-TV. I haven’t been by their building since they started filming most of their shows with their plaza in the backdrop. It was neat to walk by and see their studios through the window.
I also thought it was funny to see their old logo carved into their building’s stone. I guess it’s hard to update something you carve in stone.
Next, we went up to the observation deck on the Foshay Tower. I had heard that they had an observation deck, but didn’t know much about it. We thought we would check and see.
The building is an icon on the Minneapolis skyline. It was the tallest building in Minneapolis when it was built in 1929, but has since been surpassed in height.
As we walked into the building, we were greeted by some nice bellhops at the door. We proceeded through the lobby, decorated in ultra-modern style. The decorations were a bit of a shock given the historical nature of the building, but I guess I knew they renovated the building and turned it into an upscale hotel a couple years back.
We went to the front desk, and inquired about an observation deck. The guy asked us for $5 a piece (student rate — $8 for adults) and handed us tickets and a room key for the elevator. He told us to go up to the 30th floor.
When we got up to the 30th, we were greeted by a museum curator of sorts who asked us for our tickets and told us to check out the museum and then head up to the observation deck. We took a look at the museum, which was pretty cool. It was not huge, but yet it took up the entire floor. Although this building has many floors, the footprint of the building itself is not large, so neither is each floor.
After taking a look at that, we headed up the staircase to the 32nd floor. On the way up, there was a window into the elevator equipment room, which I thought was pretty neat.
Once at the top of the staircase, we yanked the door open and were on the observation deck. The observation deck was an outdoor cage-like area that circled the building, which was really great for taking pictures. We were inside of a cage-like area.
We had the opportunity to see lots of things — the deflated Metrodome, Target Field and Target Center, steamy buildings and more from the observation deck.
There were vents in some areas, making some sides of the building quite warm despite the cool winter temperatures. The fact that the deck was not that busy afforded us the opportunity to stay up there for a few minutes, and that was also nice.
I was also interested in the radio antennas on top of the building. There was a small staircase for broadcasters to use to get on top of the building, and it was possible to view the pointy antennas fairly well from this perch, so that was cool, too.
After we had enough, we traveled back down the stairs and elevator and continued walking around Minneapolis.
I noticed that WCCO-TV wasn’t the only media outlet in Minneapolis that has changed its identity. The StarTribune building reads “Star and Tribune”, etched in the days when it produced both a morning and evening paper.
We took a look at the deflated Metrodome and a a few other things before heading back to our car.
It was a nice afternoon.