Marquette 510/Federal Reserve Building
With the work that is being done on the Marquette 510 building we are getting a glimpse of the original exterior of the 1915 Cass Gilbert-designed Federal Reserve building. A modernist tower was added in 1955 by Larson & McLaren; the base was remodeled (columns removed) in 1974 by Cerny & Associates with Lawrence Halprin. It served as the Federal Reserve building until 1973 when the building now known as Marquette Plaza came into service. James Lileks has more on the transformation on his website.
(via Pigeons in bras go to war - O Say Can You See?)
This summer, one of our former interns completed an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. In her archives digging, she came across materials on WWII carrier pigeon vests designed and manufactured by the brassiere company, Maidenform.
Discover more interesting facts about the war in the Hennepin County Library’s Kittleson World War II Collection.
The Mushroom Club
"The Mushroom Club, as it is colloquially called, is incorporated under the name of the Mycological Society of Minnesota. Its purpose is to add to the available food supply through a study of the fungus growths of the state…The society meets every Monday”
- Minneapolis Tribune, June 23, 1915
The Mushroom Club is pictured here in 1936 at the Walker Branch Library, seated around a table of mushrooms, surrounded by display cases filled with stuffed birds.
Grant Wood and the Handicraft Guild
Following his 1910 high school graduation in Iowa, Grant Wood headed north for two summers of study at the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis School of Design, Handicraft, and Normal Art. The Handicraft Guild, officially incorporated in 1905, was at the center of artistic activity in Minneapolis—offering workshops and classes, studio space, lectures, and exhibitions for artists and teachers.
Wood went on to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but returned to Minneapolis in 1915 to stage a living picture program, an art series at the new Central High School. He would later become one of the leaders of the Regionalist art movement, painting iconic rural scenes of the American Midwest, most notably, “American Gothic.”
The Washburn Library is conveniently located near the Minnehaha Creek bike path. My favorite feature of this branch are the study nooks in non-fiction that overlook the creek. There also is a community puzzle table. I attempted to contribute a piece, but puzzles with giant trees are impossible. Fun Fact: They have a closet full of 60 puzzles in their workroom. I wonder if puzzles circulate in some libraries? Either way, great community activity for all ages.
Washburn Library was built in a “book-hungry” area of Minneapolis in 1970. It had 14,451 square feet of space and a collection of 18,000 books, but soon after it opened it put out a call to other Minneapolis Public libraries for more books. Washburn broke Minneapolis branch circulation records the first full year it was open, circulating 273,000 books in 1971. The opening of Washburn corrected the situation of not having a library branch from 38th street to the southern city limits between the lakes of Nokomis and Harriet. (from Library Book by Bruce Weir Benidt).
The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe
This edition of “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe was designed by Alan James Robinson and Arthur Larson, printed in 1984. The text is from the 1845 Wiley-Putnam edition of the short story. This fine press book is number 48 of an edition of 250. See more Poe works in our 19th Century American Studies Collection, including this one.
In 1995, PBS did a wonderful 55-minute documentary on the life and works of Edgar Allen Poe as a part of its “American Masters” series, called “Terror of the Soul.” Along with presenting an authoritative biography of Poe’s life, it dramatizes several of his most famous works, including “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” with actors Rene Auberjonois as Fortunado and John Heard as Montresor. One of our HCL staffers, a Poe enthusiast, said it’s the finest dramatization she has ever seen.
Juvenile Delinquencies, Halloween 1933-1934
This map, produced by the Board of Park Commissioners, shows juvenile delinquency incidents on Halloween night, including police calls, public parties, and private parties.
View the full map in greater detail. And check out more of our digitized maps at the Minnesota Digital Library.
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup
The Nov. 1st release of Fox Searchlight’s film “12 Years a Slave” brings to our attention again this famous narrative from 1853, which has been reprinted several times. Testimonials by former slaves were highly popular in the antebellum North and were an important tool in the abolitionists’ efforts to end slavery. The Special Collections dept. houses a number of these testimonials, including a first edition of Northrup’s work.