Monday, November 21, 2011

Northwestern Bank Weatherball - Minneapolis, MN

This circa 1980 postcard has a view of holiday lights on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis from about 4th Street looking south. The tall building in the center is the IDS Center which is between 7th and 8th streets. The old Northwestern National Bank building is to the left, topped by the lighted NW and Weatherball.

On Thanksgiving Day 1982, a fire that started in the vacant partially demolished former location of Donaldson's Department Store destroyed an entire block of downtown Minneapolis. The Northwestern National Bank was severely damaged and was later demolished. That was the end of the Northwestern Weatherball as a downtown Minneapolis landmark.

The Northwestern Weatherball was 157 feet high and was constructed in 1949. The Weatherball was removed from the bank building and stored at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Although there were plans to restore the Weatherball, it ended up being scrapped in 2000.

The Northwestern Weatherball broadcast the weather using a simple color code. An advertising jingle made the code easy to remember:
When the Weatherball is glowing red, warmer weather's just ahead.
When the Weatherball is shining white, colder weather is in sight.
When the Weatherball is wearing green, no weather changes are foreseen.
Colors blinking by night and day say, precipitation's on the way.

1 comment:

  1. They scrapped it?! Incredible. That's the same sort of respect that Fort Worth gives to it's history.


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