April 29, 2014

The six stone medallions that have been a part of The (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star Tribune’s building since 1947 now sit in a suburban storage facility, the Star Tribune’s Janet Moore told Poynter in an email.

“Right now the medallions are in the developer’s storage facility in a suburb north of Minneapolis,” Moore said. She wrote about their removal in March. “The fate of the medallions is uncertain, however. The developer, Ryan Cos., will tear down the building in 2015 to make way for a park, but it’s unclear what the park will look like and how the medallions will fit in. The demolition permit issued by the city for the destruction of the building did not specify how the medallions will be used.”

The Star Tribune in 2009. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

On Monday, Eric Ringham, an editor with Minnesota Public Radio, wrote about working for the Star Tribune in that building.

There’s a chunk of limestone sitting on my desk. I fished it out of a dumpster in front of the old Star Tribune building in Minneapolis, where I used to work. As far as I can tell, it’s a piece of the giant capital letters that until a couple of weeks ago spelled out the words STAR AND TRIBUNE on the building’s facade.

The medallions, which featured industries vital to the state, “celebrated Minnesota,” Ringham wrote, “just as the giant globe in the building’s lobby celebrated Minnesota’s connection to the world. The celebration wasn’t lost on the hundreds of employees who passed through the doors every day.”

Next year, the doors those employees walk through will be located at Capella Tower.

“As an aside,” Moore said, “Mike Kaszuba and Mike Hughlett, co-chairs of the Newspaper Guild, has filed an application with SPJ to recognize our site as a historic one in journalism. That wouldn’t stop the demolition, there would just be a plaque noting our building’s historic significance.”

Other buildings included in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Historic Sites in Journalism Program include the Chicago Bee building.

The Star Tribune’s old building still has until next year, but on Monday, Trevor Bach reported in Miami New Times that demolition on the Miami Herald’s old building began “with little fanfare.”

The Miami Herald also wrote about the demolition and included this video.

What would you miss if your newsroom moved? Does your newsroom have any objects worth preserving? Poynter’s not a newsroom, exactly, but the statue of the man reading a newspaper in our courtyard is my first thought, although I’m often tempted to slide a tablet or a phone in between those solid pages. (If Nelson Poynter can have a Twitter account, it only seems fair.)

Send me your thoughts, and pictures if you can get them, through Twitter at @kristenhare or email at khare@poynter.org, and I’ll gather them all together.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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