Friday, April 17, 2009

Speaking of History in Minneapolis

One of my mom's guesses (she worked in the building where JB Hudson's was located, so I thought she'd have it for sure, but Chris, my friend from Boston's correct answer was even more surprising!) was the Foshay Tower.

Andrew had a tour of the tower and got to go up to the observation deck a few weeks back for a homeschool coop outing.  I did not attend and wish I had, as the building is a fascinating and beautiful one.

The iron work inside of the Foshay Tower is famous, and it was worked at the same company as the gate at JB Hudson.

The Foshay was designed to look like the Washington Monument, and contains four bronze busts of George Washington in its interior.  

Foshay Tower was the lifelong dream and namesake of Wilbur Foshay, an art student turned businessman who bought and sold utilities companies in order to make his fortune. He planned to locate his business and residence on the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth floors where a three bedroom, three bath suite was built, with a fireplace and library, Italian Siena marble walls and glass-paneled ceilings.

Foshay invited 25,000 guests to the dedication ceremony and provided all-expenses paid trips to many who included cabinet members, senators and congressmen. Half nude dancers entertained. Each guest received a gold pocket watch. The military gave 19-gun salutes. 
John Philip Sousa conducted music, including "Foshay Tower-Washington Memorial March" a march he wrote for the occasion. Foshay presented Sousa with a check for US$20,000.

The march was only played once during Foshay's lifetime. Six weeks after the building's opening, Foshay's corporate empire crumbled as the 
Great Depression began. Ignominiously, Foshay's check to Sousa bounced, and in retaliation, Sousa prohibited the playing of the march so long as Foshay's debt to him remained outstanding. Foshay never lived in his new home which went into receivership. In 1988, a group of Minnesota investors repaid Foshay's debt to Sousa's estate, and the march was permitted to be played again.

For your listening pleasure....

Nowadays it is a tres chic hotel, which I want to mention because some of the photos above are from their site.  For those with some K left during this recession, it would be an awesome place to stay a night, and you'd be right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, which is a lovely place to visit.

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