I Miss Apache Plaza!

If you don't know about Apache plaza, here are photos of the courtyard in its heyday. Browse around the whole site and see if you understand why those of us who remember it, miss it.

It got really butchered in the 80's, but being hit by a tornado had put it on a bad path. (No kidding.)

Our own personal story about the Apache tornado... well, I'll let my dad fill in the details, which I'm sure he'll do in a far more interesting and detailed way than I could. Take it away, dad! :)


Norman Larson said…
To Eric and anyone else who clicks onto this site -- message from Eric's dad:

My remembrances of Apache Plaza go back to 1960 when it was under construction. David, one of my younger brothers, proposed to Carol Lyons by writing a message in chalk. I went there and took pictures. Carol and David subsequently were married -- and still are.

The tornado was in 1984 -- Eric was 10 years old. We were visiting my Aunt Esther who lived in a nearby apartment building across from Hart Lake. We were sitting on the balcony of a friend looking toward the west, and Judith commented on the bad weather. Someone said the storm was in South Dakota -- nothing to wory about! Ha! We decided to leave and go back to our house in the Merriam Park neighborhood on St. Paul. When we got home and turned on the radio, we heard about the tornado -- and went to our basement. We tried to call Aunt Esther but could not reach her. Eventually we got to her and found out that her apartment building was all right but Apache Plaza was not. Some businesses went out of business permanently. We remember that driving to our house we were on Stinson Blvd. NE., which separates Minneapolis from St. Anthony Villlage. We found out that several houses were destroyed. We must have missed the damage by a few minutes!
emlarson said…
Indeed. (Though I never knew about the Dave/Carol/chalk story!) The thing to drive home about Esther's apartment is that it looked out over Apache Plaza; you could see the beacon of the Apache Plaza sign clear as a bell. I remember her talking later about how she could see the blue flashes of light as the power lines snapped when the tornado came through.

Speaking of looking out over signs, I also remember being in our attic and looking at the Googie-style sign in Midway Plaza. And I, too, was one of those, "Gee, this is SO out-of-date!" people in the 1980s. But now... it would be so cool if that were still in place!

(The Minnesota Historical Society has some photos of Midway Plaza on-line, but nothing too telling... though maybe I should go search again?)

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