Downtown Parking, 1950’s

April 30th, 2013, 12:30H · Topics: Around Town, Business · Print

“Here is a picture of where the Windsor Hotel was.  Today, the bottom right is where the Ball Building is.  The big parking lot is where the Woolworth Store is and also on the left is where the Robert Meyer Hotel stands.  The middle left is where the city Electric Building is, it was the Independent Ins. Co.  1951.”  LS

Looking at the photos of downtown from Loyd Sandgren’s collection makes me realize how fleeting so many things in the history of the city really are.  The buildings that occupy the city are often just temporary occupants of a particular plot of real estate.  Structures that we view as permanent were built for a specific purpose at a particular point in time and when they becomes obsolete they enter a tenuous period where they are simply viewed as old.  The lucky ones that are so unwanted that they are left neglected sometimes get a second life when their unique architecture or character is rediscovered after a period of being out of circulation.  Others occupy a desirable location and are demolished to make way for the latest new project.  This photograph illustrates the full spectrum of downtown’s evolution. In the last 100 years this particular parking lot has housed The Windsor Hotel, a replacement for the original structure that burned down in the 1901 fire.  It was demolished in the 1950 and the lot was used as a parking lot.  In 1954 the Woolworth’s and Penny’s opened for business facing the Hogan Street side of the lot and in 1959 The Robert Meyer Hotel opened on the back portion of the lot.  Those made way for the new Federal Courthouse which opened for business in 2003.  Across the street is Hemming plaza and many of the surrounding buildings have been there for most of the last 100 years, having been preserved and eventually repurposed.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More