Before the Mall of America, People Still Visited Minneapolis (I Guess…)

Despite the festive peppy slant of the brochure’s cover, you have to feel sorry for this circa-mid 1970s promo piece for Minneapolis.*

Mary Richards could only throw her beret in the air so many times before the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce had to move on to another feature to tout. But you get the feeling that the design staff was kind of out of ideas. How else to explain the choice to portray a beautiful city of lakes and parks through distant shots of indistinct urbania, and shade it in blah off-yellows.

One envisions two tired marketers, mid-winter, having dragged their down-coated selves through another airless skywalk above a shivering city, sitting down and having to think up a new campaign. There, in a windowless office, the lady marketer plays with her floppy blouse-tie while her male co-worker, frowning beneath his mustache and aviator glasses, listens to their day tick away. I imagine that they both had visions of a city-state-sized mall with a Bloomingdale’s, dozens of restaurants and a Snoopy-themed roller coaster that would come along and pull them out of their marketing slump. Yet, in the end, they did their jobs.

And, after all of that, the Mall of America isn’t even in Minneapolis, but landed next to the airport in Bloomington.

* Before you Twin Cities boosters fire off your flaming missives, please note: Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of my favorite places to visit. I even leave MOA sometimes.

Care Morency

Care is a writer living in the Chicago suburbs. She has worked as a journalist and in communications for her local library and park district. She is also a cat mom, a guitar player, a jewelry enthusiast, a survivor of the Reagan Administration and Princess Leia's long-lost little sister.

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