On Saturday, Nov. 1, current and former employees of the Minneapolis Star Tribune can walk through most of the building that has been the home of the newspaper since 1920.
By next summer, the Star Tribune will be in a new space, and the building at 425 Portland Ave. will be gone, or close to it.
“There’s certainly some nostalgia,” said Steve Yaeger, the Star Tribune’s vice president of marketing and public relations, in a phone interview. “I would say overall — this is not the PR spin — we really are more excited about getting to the new place. Our building is very old and it was built for a very different news organization than what we have.”
There are people who work there today, though, who’ve spent their whole careers in that building, Yaeger said. Many are attached to the space, and not just people who work there now, but people who once did.
So on Saturday, the Star Tribune is having a homecoming. So far, about 700 people have RSVP’d, but Yaeger expects around 1,000.
“Some people will want to hug the building,” Yaeger said, “some people will just want to see the press operators they used to work the same shift with.”
People can walk through three of the four floors of the building — to see where the presses and the mailroom once were. They’ll see images along the way of how the building has changed. In one hallway, there’s a 30-foot-long timeline that shows things that have happened at 425 Portland Ave. There’s food, of course, and speeches and the chance to catch up with old friends.
“It’s not just about the building,” Yaeger said. “It’s about the interactions in this building. A building is just a building in the end.”
The Star Tribune no longer owns that building, they’ve leased it through June 30 of next year, when they’ll be out for good and the building will come down as part of a redevelopment plan.
“The challenge for all of us, as we move, is to remain places of character,” Yaeger said. “We don’t want it to be bland. If it’s bland, we’ve lost something.”
Here are some other newsrooms that no longer live in their original buildings. I know there’s a lot to add here, and I will try and update this, so please send me suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org or @kristenhare.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sold: 2013. The building will be torn down in 2015. Some demolition has begun.
Now: The Star Tribune still operates out of the building, which it is currently leasing. They’ll move to 650 Third Ave. S by the end of June 2015 at the latest.
Sold: 2011, moved in 2013
Now: Demolition started this year. In May, Selima Hussain wrote “9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Old Miami Herald Building,” for WLRN.
7. The materials used to build it
1HP boasted mahogany paneling, two kinds of granite (gray on the facade, red-veined on certain interior walls) chattahoochee rock and yellow ceramic tiles, according to Ibby Vores, Miami Herald human resources manager.
“It was impressive… there was all of this lifted space and a terrazzo floor, marble on the walls,” she says. “At the time it was built, it was an icon of the future.”
In April of last year, Erik Bojnansky wrote “Farewell, My Lovely Miami Herald,” for the Biscayne Times.
Now: Demolition has been slow and is still happening. The new development is supposed to include a hotel and casino.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Now: It’s supposed to be redeveloped into a casino, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Photographer Will Steacy successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $26,000 from a $15,000 goal. Steacy spent five years photographing the Inquirer newsroom and is now writing a book with the help of the Kickstarter funds.
There’s also a Facebook page with images from the Inquirer’s last days in the building.
Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
Here are more buildings and moves I heard about today. I’m just listing them for now but will add more.
— Detroit Free Press and Detroit News
— Kalamazoo Gazette
— Grand Rapids Press
— Ann Arbor News
— Muskegon Chronicle
— Indianapolis Star
— Seattle Times
— Seattle P-I
— New York Daily News
— The New York Times
— The (Syracuse) Post-Standard
— The Marion Star
— The Daily Oklahoman
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram
— Santa Cruz Sentinel