Day 12: Minnesota

I did pretty well today with photo-gathering despite the fact that it was only a half-day. I found a nice independent car repair place in Oakdale, MN (thank you Maplewood Auto!) to address my thunk-thunk-thunk. It was a tire with some weird tread wear. Not noticeable really til you took the wheel off. Also the other front wheel had a mediocre bearing. That’s the tire I flattened a month ago driving around a pet cemetery and taking a bad bounce into a drainage ditch. Uh, it looked like a car path to me. Also the other tires were marginal, so this was a $998 bill for a full set of tires and replacing the bearing. Probably more than I should’ve (my mechanic back in Brooklyn would’ve chided me for being taken) but I feel a lot safer. I love my new tires — they feel like I’m driving on air and I relieved that the thunking is gone.

So I didn’t get started taking pictures til around 1pm. But luckily with summer and being very north, it doesn’t get dark around here til about 9pm. It also gets light enough around 7am to start back up again.

On with today’s show:

I love this little car wash I stumbled upon in St. Paul:

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Also in St. Paul was these wonderfully green building entitled the Spruce Tree Centre. Unfortunately, the sun was directly behind it and this is the best I could do:

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A nice rooftop sign — “Sport Dome” there now but I have no idea what was there before:

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I believe this was still St. Paul (too tired to check my notes). I haven’t seen this before — a Little Caesar guy filled and bouncing around by those air machines (what do you call them anyway):

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From the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds in St. Paul — these great little “Whitman’s sampler” buildings:

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A nice car wash sign that must’ve had neon originally — in conjunction with another sign with “ballies”. Now what idiot parked that white van in the way of my shot?

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And, lastly, here’s one that really has me puzzled. I went to this address in St. Paul in search of a Lustron house. As I proceeded into that area, the houses looked much too palatial and I figured it would be another disappointment (building removed or remodeled beyond recognition). I have no idea where I got the tip about this Lustron since I keep a huge master list with stuff from a million different sources (some referenced, some not). Anyway, sure the building had porcelain enamel panels like Lustrons — but there was fancy little detailing and it was a two-story building. I don’t believe the Lustron company ever produced anything like this. I wanted to take more shots but there were people in the window at the right already giving me nasty looks. It had been too long and hot a day to deal with being yelled at. Does anyone have any theories or information about this building?

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9 Responses to “Day 12: Minnesota”

  1. That’s a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubeman.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMh8dUSfhRI

  2. That link is broken: “no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation”. I’d love to know the official name for these giant air guys.

  3. That was fast. It was a clip from Family Guy. This link works at the moment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFKn4GAOH8Q

    Anyway, I don’t know what they are really called either.

  4. Well, now it’s working again! There are actually TWENTY videos at YouTube about these Wacky Waving guys. Who’d have thought!

  5. Hi: I’ve been a fan of Lustron homes, too….one of my friends owned one for a number of years.
    I believe the house you’ve pictured is an Armco-Ferro House. Here’s an example of one:

    http://members.tripod.com/rex_files/dunes2/

    -Karin Teder, Minneapolis

  6. Karin: Thanks for your comment. I think you’re absolutely right! Why didn’t I think of that? I was lucky enough on this trip to see the houses being restored in Beverly Shores — one of them an Amrco-Ferro:
    http://agilitynut.com/deco/in.html

  7. Jen Sale Says:

    Is the house at 265 Woodlawn Ave.? If so, it is not an Armco-Ferro, based on the article below. Its a one-of-a-kind prototype, built by Steel Construction Products Co., in 1935!

    Larry Millett wrote an article about it in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, not sure of the date.

  8. Debra Jane Seltzer (aka agilitynut) Says:

    Let’s see if I can make that link better:
    books.google.com/books?id=v4TiwNUguhYC&pg=PA112&l…

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