Minnesota Architecture: Cream of Wheat HQ

Sometimes it’s not just the architecture that draws us to a building, but the childhood memories it evokes.

CreamofWheat1A.jpg

Cream of Wheat, Minneapolis

Photo by Stuart Klipper

Such was the case for photographer Stuart Klipper. Here’s his nomination:

I moved to Minneapolis from NYC nearly 41 years to the date.

I quickly began exploring. I wanted to get a handle on the place I had plopped myself down in. An early and exultant discovery was the Cream of Wheat HQ on Stinson Blvd. in one of the industrial quadrants of the city I was drawn to.

From the moment I laid mine eyes on it, I’ve claimed it to be my favorite building in the known universe. Florid phrasing; but really not hyperbole.

It was archetypal! It bore a cast of purity and authenticity. It was a plainspoken and forthright structure. It was heraldic of American enterprise, and ideals. Standing apart and four-square, flag gloriously rampant at the apex of its tower, I marveled at its bearing and presence.

Across its façade, the name of a favorite cereal of childhood. Yum! I still can sing its advertising jingle.

I am a photographer and have perennially returned to the building and its immediate surrounds to make pictures of it again and again.

CreamofWheat2A.jpg

Here’s what else I was able to find out about the website on the City of Minneapolis website:

The Cream of Wheat Company exemplifies the business spawned in the late nineteenth century by the Midwest’s flourishing agricultural economy. Drawn to Minneapolis by the region’s dominance in the grain-milling industry, the fledgling company grew to become a major player in the hot cereal market. A symbol of the company’s success was its 1927-28 corporate headquarters and factory at 730 Stinson Boulevard. The Cream of Wheat Building, with its prominent corner tower, is of architectural interest as well. Featuring a classic 1920s design that seamlessly incorporates office and factory uses, the building is further enhanced by its setback from Stinson Boulevard and the landscaped yards that surround it on three sides. The noteworthy design by engineer Walter H. Wheeler served the Cream of Wheat Company for several decades until Kraft Foods purchased the company and relocated it in 2002.

Now you can actually live in the old Cream of Wheat Company building – it’s been converted into “CW Lofts.”

Thanks to Stuart Klipper for his nomination. Have a building you admire, that you’d like to share? Send a photo or two along with your nomination to mcombs@mpr.org.

Comments are closed.