Welcome to my downtown Minneapolis neighborhood in a photo from 56 years ago, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Surface parking lots are nothing new.
A Google Maps photo of this Warehouse District block shows a building has sprouted there.
But the Google photo also shows a breathtaking array of newer downtown surface parking lots.
How many? An estimate was floated over libations the other night with my friend Bill Clements, a former Finance and Commerce newspaper reporter who studied the question.
The answer? Bill’s estimate, calculated a few years ago, is that a third of downtown Minneapolis is devoted to surface parking.
You don’t need to take Bill’s word for it. Google, “downtown Minneapolis.” Zoom in a bit and count ’em. An amazing number of blocks are devoted to parking gas burners.
An excellent piece of reporting on the issue is here.