What Minneapolis Will Look Like in 1980

The Minneapolis Tribune printed an article on January 23, 1921 which included predictions on what Minneapolis might be like 59 years into the future, in 1980. Now, 93 years later, we see that while some of those predictions actually came true, others are still merely a dream.

Here are some highlights from the article. To read the full article, log into the Historical Minneapolis Tribune database with your library barcode and PIN or visit any Hennepin County Library.

  • She’ll be the Manhattan of the Northwest and the city to the east will be known as the Borough of St. Paul.
  • Minneapolis will have a population of 3,000,000 by 1980. Her city limits on the west will lie beyond Lake Minnetonka and on the east beyond White Bear. For the metro area, they weren’t far off.
  • In 1980, of course, most traveling will be done by airplane. Express planes will make the trip from Minneapolis to San Francisco in 12 hours with several planes leaving and arriving daily. The trip to New York will require only seven hours. They overestimated the trip length.
  • Airplane travel and improved electrical housekeeping devices will have done much to eliminate apartment houses by 1980. Everyone who can afford it will be living in the country. High-class apartment houses will be succeeded, perhaps, by huge family hotels—if they have families in 1980. Well, we still have families. And apartments are all the rage.
  • A mighty system of high-speed subways will make for swift traffic inside the limits of Greater Minneapolis. Still no subways, but we’re expanding light rail transit.
  • By 1980 there won’t be even a vestige left of the lofty bluffs that tower over the Mississippi river. They’ll be mown down, filled up with wharves, factories, and freight houses. Nope, still there.
  • By 1980, too, it probably won’t be safe for a Minneapolis society girl to answer the telephone before 11 o’clock in the morning. For by 1980 there will undoubtedly be a device whereby two persons talking over the telephone may be able to see each other in mirrors suspended over the instruments. Pretty much.