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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Street Council’

Return to Street Cars?

Return to Street Cars?

By Joyce Wisdom Meetings about street cars in Mpls. are happening at various levels of policy making.  . The Twin City Rapid Transit Company opened the Lake Street Station in 1910.  It was one of six car-houses for the Mpls/StP. system.  In 1920 TCRT had 530 miles of track, 1,021 streetcars & 238 million riders. Lake Street Station housed 180 streetcars and 500 employees: motormen and conductors,, mechanics and cleaners and a few office workers. The station ran 24/7. Twice a day the number of streetcars doubled for rush hours. The system was dismantled in 1954 in favor of buses.  The Lake Street Station was demolished. The land was redeveloped as Hi-Lake Shopping Center. Good news: Before and After photos & history at 62 such Historic places on Lake Street  beginning late June 2012;  Watch for Lake Street Council”'s “Museum in the Streets.”Â  It will be very exciting and informative.

“Tell Me a Story””¦in Kathleen Anderson”'s Words

“Tell Me a Story””¦in Kathleen Anderson”'s Words

Lake Street Council is working hard this year to collect and promote the history of this area. The first stage to this project is collecting oral histories of longtime residents. Here”'s part of the interview with Kathleen Anderson, longtime district director for Congressman Martin Sabo, who lived in Longfellow growing up. Please visit youtube.com/VisitLakeStreet to watch the whole video interview with Kathleen and others! And if you are a longtime resident who remembers well the Lake Street from decades past, and would like your story recorded, please get in touch with us! Call 612-824-7420 or email coien@lakestreetcouncil.org. By Kathleen Anderson as told to Chris Oien I lived on 39th St. & 44th Ave., which is about 9 blocks from Lake Street, and several blocks from the river. Mostly we would ride our bikes, or I would take the 42nd Ave. bus to about 36th St. and then transfer to the Lake Street bus. Sometimes we”'d go east toward the river, there was an ice cream shop, I believe it was a Bridgeman”'s, for ice cream. Or, we would take the bus to the west toward the Uptown area and the lakes. We would stop sometimes at the Town Talk, which was there. We were into picture taking as teenagers, and we would have our film developed on the second floor of the building above the Town Talk. (more…)

“Tell Me a Story””¦in Joyce Krook”'s words

“Tell Me a Story””¦in Joyce Krook”'s words

Lake Street Council is working hard this year to collect and promote the history of the Lake Street area. The first stage to this project is collecting oral histories of longtime residents. We started with Alley ally Joyce Krook. Here are some excerpts of Joyce recalling her childhood growing up in the Hennepin & Lake area. Please visit youtube.com/VisitLakeStreet to watch the whole video interview with Joyce and others! And if you are a longtime resident who remembers well the Lake Street from decades past, and would like your story recorded, please get in touch with us! Call 612-824-7420 or email coien@lakestreetcouncil.org. Joyce Krook Reminisces about childhood near Lake Street About the apartment Joyce & her family lived in near Lake Street After we moved to 29th & Dupont, we lived there until 1955 so that was quite a few years. ”¦ It was a four-plex. I have no idea how old the building was. We lived upstairs. It was a one bedroom apartment and it was my mom and dad and four kids, and we were cramped. My sister and I slept on a rollaway, and in the summertime we could open up our front porch and double our bedroom space. My brothers then had the porch, so that was nice. Otherwise, it was a pretty small place: kitchen, bedroom, bath, dining room, and then the porch in the summertime. I remember that there was another fourplex right next door, and the people next door got the first TV of anybody in any of these buildings. We could sit in our living room window and look over and see their TV on. But then we were the next ones to get a TV. It was a Muntz TV, it was huge. The people in my building would come over to watch TV in the evening, and my dad had to get up really early to go to work so he”'d say “I”'m going to bed now, turn off the TV when you go home.” (more…)

Lake Street Council Annual Meeting

Lake Street Council Annual Meeting

by Joyce Wisdom and Chris Oien We had a great annual meeting on Tuesday March 16th! One of our favorite activities at this event is recognizing some of the many businesses and individuals who help make Lake Street great. This year we gave out six awards. Community Responsibility Awards went too Gandhi Mahal, Top Shelf, and Kathee Foran from In the Heart of the Beast Theatre. Capacity Building Awards went to Highpoint Center for Printmaking and Midtown Global Market”'s Taste Bud Tart. And our Startup & Innovation Award went to Sauce Spirits & Soundbar. Congratulations to all our awardees! Six people were elected to the Lake Street Council board. Council Member Gary Schiff, Marty Shimko from US Bank, and Debbie Tucker from Hennepin County were all re-elected for three year terms. Nubberd Gonzalez from Goodwill Easter Seals, Joe Gilpin from Wells Fargo, and and Trung Pham from Pham”'s Deli were newly elected to the board. To close, we featured a panel on Building Our Community”'s Economic Future, with Ron Price from LISC, Morgan Zehner from Zehner Consulting, and Tony Hull from Transit for Liveable Communities. They shared their insights on a variety of topics, such as what makes Lake Street unique, the strengths it can offer during an economic downturn, how to approach business recruitment, and how to best design a roadside so that it works best for businesses and customers using all forms of transportation. The panelists concluded by agreeing that a bright future for Lake Street starts with supporting the hopes, dreams, and lives of the area”'s residents. Throughout the event we had opportunities to reflect on past successes and our path ahead, including the debut of our Action Plan for the next 5 years. Thank you to everyone who attended!

Thinking Ahead Connecting a Midtown Greenway Streetcar to Lake Street

by Joyce Wisdom Thinking ahead to what the results would be of a new Streetcar system in the Midtown Greenway and envisioning strategies to meet those results before it becomes reality was the topic of a study by four CURA students from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. Blending Midtown Greenway Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Streetcar Traffic with existing Lake Street businesses, traffic and culture Jeremy Jones, Simon Blenski, Nicole Doran, and Kyle Weimann presented the results of their study recently to a combined meeting of the Boards of the Midtown Greenway Coalition and the Lake Street Council. Here are their recommendations on connecting a new Midtown Greenway streetcar line with the existing Lake Street and vicinity business community and activity: Small businesses must be actively engaged to ensure the business ecosystem is not disrupted so that businesses are not priced out of the market. Encourage and support more commerce in the Greenway trench, such as the Freewheel Bike Center. Consider implementing a larger Greenway-Lake Street Improvement District to assist with maintenance and consistent branding. Development at Streetcar Stations At the various stations, they recommended: branding with icons to reinforce identity and memory preserving the Greenway character, a business node presence, and connections to various transit, biking, and pedestrian options clearly marked. Uptown Station; land use that is mixed use, mixed density, and transit oriented. Buildings should be aligned to engage the Greenway. Chicago Ave. Station; be placed for close connection to the Midtown Greenway stairs up to Lake Street. Chicago & Lake already has several positive attributes for a streetcar connection, including a mix of local & regional destinations and the Chicago-Lake Transit Station. Bloomington Ave. Station; a transformation into an interactive neighborhood space. The connection to and from Lake [...]

Latino Reflections on Lake Street

Interview by Alexandra Renken, university of Minnesota Student of Joyce Wisdom, Executive Director of Lake Street Council What broad transformations have you seen occur with Latino businesses on Lake Street (as a result of Lake Street resurfacing, city ordinances, etc.)? Just to be clear, it was not a resurfacing road project, but a once-every-50-years project that included replacing water, gas and electrical lines beneath the street. The street was dug out to the bottom, removing old cobblestones and rail track that had been buried for decades. While Lake Street was always open one-lane in each direction, there was no parking and huge holes to traverse from one side of the road to the other. Ethnic businesses of all kinds fared better than most others during our recent road construction because of their customer loyalty. That held true for Ingebretsen”'s Scandinavian customers as well as Saigon Garage”'s Southeast Asian customers, but perhaps not so strongly for the Mercado and other Lake Street Latino businesses. Since road construction, business has improved despite the recession. Unfortunately, now the cost of doing business has risen and all businesses, but especially many of our Latino businesses, are finding it harder to increase their revenue to match the increased expenses. Regarding City ordinances and fees, Lake Street Council has worked diligently with City staff and elected officials to change City ordinances that negatively impact our small business community and especially our Latino and other ethnic businesses. One example is hours of operation. Several of our Latino eateries have applied for variances to serve their 24 hour clientele. Not everyone works a 9 to 5 job. Another is our support of businesses like El Nuevo Rodeo and La Vina. Dance and social halls have been mainstays of every new immigrant”'s experience, going back to Scandinavian, Greek, German and every other major immigration to Minneapolis. Why [...]

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