Minnesota Historical Society

University Avenue: One Street, A Thousand Dreams DVD

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"University Avenue means different things to different people. It's always been eclectic, unruly, noisy, gritty. And the street has seen its fortunes rise and fall over the decades. But its purpose has always been the same: to provide a vital link between Minneapolis and Saint Paul for people and commerce."

Lou Bellamy's opening narration sets the stage for this journey down one of the most fascinating and influential streets in the Upper Midwest. During the first half of the 20th century, University Avenue was a thriving commercial corridor, defined by places like the Minnesota Transfer Railway, Montgomery Ward, Brown & Bigelow, Lexington Ballpark, Prom Ballroom, and the popular streetcar. The 70s and 80s were not as kind to University as new freeways and suburban development ushered in a period of slow decline. More recently, thousands of immigrants began living out their hopes and dreams, raising their families and opening hundreds of small businesses along the street. Today, those businesses are facing new challenges as the Central Corridor light rail project transforms the street once again.

Interview transcripts, photos, videos, maps and additional resources available online at universityavenue.net

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