Lunchtime Tourist

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January 5, 2004 // UPDATED 4:45 pm - April 20, 2007
By: Linda Koutsky
Linda Koutsky

100 Downtown destinations

This is the hundredth "Lunchtime Tourist"! When I started writing it two years ago, I wondered how long I'd be able to keep it up. Thanks to the valuable resources at the public library and tips from loyal readers, I hope to continue for at least 100 more.

Most of us are too focused on errands or appointments to slow down and really appreciate our environment. Yet surveys show that when we travel, most people take in historic sites and cultural attractions. My idea for this column was to get Minneapolitans to notice what we have here around us every day.

Everyone I've talked to -- including one overly zealous security guard who eventually let me past him -- has been extremely helpful. The owner of the armory didn't hesitate when I asked him if he would open up a special room in the building so Skyway readers could see the WPA murals.

Tacoumba Aiken took time out of his busy day as a public artist to give me a tour of his painting in the Carmichael Lynch skyway. And many employees in building management offices have dug through their files, looking for information about the architecture or an artist whose work hangs in their lobby.

While I assume there are people out there reading this, the only hard evidence I have is from a conversation I had with the owner of Candyland. I wrote about their Red Dollars that are made with a 100-year-old recipe. During the week that column was on the stands, they sold out in three locations!

So I know you're out there. Thank you for indulging this passion of mine. I hope you've been amused or intrigued. Please keep visiting these treasures and supporting our locally owned restaurants.

And if you've got something tucked away in your building, send a tip to

Here are a few of my favorites

Minneapolis Grain Exchange

St. Thomas University frescoes

Marshall Field's art deco women's restroom

Teener's Building

The Bandbox Diner

Paul Manship urns

Bobby & Steve's Auto World

Birthplace of J. Paul Getty

Third Avenue Bridge

The Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis

George Morrison granite sidewalk

Maya Lin's waterfall

Soo Line Building

Eagle Magic & Joke Store

"Sunlit Straw," by Harry Bertoia

"Flying Eagle" by Gwynn Murrill

Lock and Dam Visitors Center