The Many Moods of Millett

Larry Millett tribute week continues on Coololdbuildingsmn…he launched the glorious Once There Were Castles seven days ago…!

In 2007, Larry published the compendium, encyclopedic, wiki of wikis,
Baedeker of Baedeker guide…the progeny of Millett’s epic bicycle
journey of architectural discovery in many Twin Cities neighborhoods…
which some day as he acknowledges would be a great “App” for an iPhone tour replete with maps, photos, maybe even narration from himself…AND maybe even some users could contribute notes or add their own places…as you can on!

A living ever evolving history of all the fascinating structures he and we enounter every day!

Yes it is the circa 2007 AIA Guide to the Twin Cities….
fondly dubbed “THE BRICK”

I’ve toted the brick round with me to many a familiar and unfamiliar neighborhood and have learned much…of all LM’s books, this one has the full spectrum of many if not all of his nibs moods dujour….

p22 1778 James Ave So Mpls
“one of Lowry Hills’ best Period Revival Houses, with its gentle undulations, calm lines and ivied stucco…the way the roof swirls down over the front door is pure 1920s architectural theater…”

p. 322 24 Fifth Street Center STP
“…The multiblock parking ramp to the rear, along Sixth St., is…an architectural atrocity in raw concrete and Cor-Ten steel, it is the ugliest object in all of downtown. It’s especially depressing when you
consider that one of St. Pauls’ finest old skyscrapers was destroyed to make way for this dreck.”

p. 335 12 Colonade (Palazzo Apartments)
“…by 1955 the Colonade(then known as the Willard) was limping along as a faded old apartment hotel when disaster struck. Fire raced through the upper floors, killing a maid who’d gone up in an elevator to warn residents. After the fire, the two upper floors were amputated none too gently, leaving the abridged four story building visible today.”

Humor ala Razor…
p.735 Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity 1609 University Ave SE
“Fraternity Row’s oldest chapter house, a dignified Georgian Revival design that looks more like the house of a banker than the sort of place you’d expect to encounter any Animal House hijinks.”

Bored yet dutiful…
p. 82 3 Maryland Apartments (Hotel) 1346 LaSalle Ave MPLS
“A pleasant apartment hotel organized around a center court.
At one time, four-story porches extended out from the two wings that face LaSalle.”

The Logician…
p. 337 18 Seventh Place Mall STP
“This mall, announced by an arch at St. Peter St. is a remnant of historic Seventh St. whose duties have now largely been taken over by what used to be Eighth St. but is now called Seventh St. Meanwhile
Seventh St. was renamed Seventh Place. Everyone clear?”

AND my personal fave…

Ecstatic…Poetic…Show-off Wordsmith…channeling the heart, mind, and soul of a departed architect… (whichever you choose)

p. 228-229 3 Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Chapel
“…step inside and you enter a shimmering world of tesserae…ten
million tiny pieces of marble colored stone and glass fused with metal to form mosaics that cover virtually every surface of the interior…”

These are just a few o-too-brief samples of the Many Moods of Millett!


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