Downtown: Minneapolis in the 1970s

Downtown: Minneapolis in the 1970s


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Dayton's was in its prime, the new Nicollet Mall was full of people, the Foshay Tower was still king, and the IDS Center was beginning its rise. Bustling sidewalks teemed with shoppers and businessmen, young and old, no matter what the weather, because the skyway system was just being born. Downtown Minneapolis in the early 1970s was a scene.

Mike Evangelist, a seventeen-year-old from the suburbs, found everything about the city to be amazing. This "introvert with a camera" turned his lens to the scenes around him—young women hitching a ride, a disabled vet selling pencils, stylish shoppers strolling Nicollet Mall, once-grand movie houses on Hennepin Avenue—capturing a vibrant and rapidly changing city. Forty years later, he has unearthed this trove of images that vividly reflect a memorable time in Minneapolis. Writer and artist Andy Sturdevant, who has been called "the preeminent wit, flâneur, and psycho-historian of the Twin Cities," explores these streets as a congenial companion, commenting with a sharp eye and thoughtful insights.

Do you miss the seventies? Did you miss the seventies? Downtown takes you there.

"Mike takes us on a visual odyssey of a Minneapolis long gone by. A compelling look at a city on the verge of social and political change; the home of Hubert Humphrey and Mary Tyler Moore. A place where Purple People Eaters reigned supreme before the world heard of Purple Rain. It’s a lovely remembrance of the Minneapolis that once was—and a thoughtful look at how far we’ve come."
—Robyne Robinson, Arts and Culture Director, Airport Foundation MSP

"I prowled the streets and avenues and establishments of Minneapolis in the 1970s as a cub. Mike and Andy have stopped a clock that has been slowly ticking. I remember, vividly, these stories, the buildings, and even the faces look familiar. It is a family album long lost, returned at long last."
—Don Shelby, former anchor and reporter for WCCO-TV and Radio

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780873519922
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 9.90(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Mike Evangelist was born in Minneapolis and grew up in nearby New Brighton. He developed his love of photography while in high school and attended the University of Minnesota fully intending to make photography his career. But life intervened, and he spent the next twelve years working in the advertising field. He moved into personal computers in the late 1980s, first with Apple as a director of product marketing and later as chief marketing officer at Code 42 Software. Since retiring in 2014, Mike spends much of his time taking pictures. His favorite subject is his grandson, Jack. Mike is married and has three adults sons. He lives in Birchwood, Minnesota.

Andy Sturdevant is a writer and artist. His weekly column in MinnPost , "The Stroll," highlights the art, architecture, culture, historic sites, and visual miscellanea of the Twin Cities. He is the author of Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow , published by Coffee House Press in 2013. Andy lives near Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis.

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