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March 10, 2014

The Young Quinlan Department Store In Minneapolis

By RetroRuth

We recently took a very short trip to Minneapolis for my brother’s wedding. I know what you are thinking: Minneapolis in February sounds terrible. And it was. Luckily, the hotel we stayed at was on the heated Skywalk that connects most of the city’s downtown, so we were able to explore downtown a little without even having to step outside into the freezing, horrible cold.

There were a ton of really great buildings on the Skyway that we enjoyed, but I have to say that the Young Quinlan Building was my favorite. Built in 1926, this building is way more Art Deco that Mid-Century Modern, but it also housed the Young Quinlan department store until it closed in 1985. There was a very nice little museum display and information about the store during its heyday.


The store’s founder, Elizabeth Quinlan, was considered to be one of the countries top businesswomen in the 1930’s and was the first woman clothing buyer in the country.


These cases were filled with wares from the store and photos of the original store displays.



There were so many pretty hats and gloves!



One of the things that this building is known for is its amazing elevators. Unfortunately, it was really busy that day so we weren’t able to get a photo of the inside of one, but here is a shot of the top lights.


A few more of the architectural details. According to this display, this was the first building constructed in the downtown area that also included a parking garage!


Some of the original display cases from the store. They were gorgeous!


Has anyone ever heard of this store before, or did anyone go while they were still open? Apparently they had a fantastic soda fountain. I would have loved to see that!

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6 Responses to The Young Quinlan Department Store In Minneapolis

  1. Fanfreluche Reply

    March 10, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Oh the old display cases! I could totally buy that for my home. They are just amazing. They’ll do fantastic curiosity cabinets.

  2. Andrea Reply

    March 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Fantastic displays! I absolutely love that stained glass exit sign as well!

  3. Sara In AZ Reply

    March 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve never heard of this department store before…..it sure does look like it was fabulous though!

  4. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    March 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Such pretty displays! I’d love to go back in time and stroll those aisles.

  5. Jacki Reply

    March 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    My husband and I lived in Minneapolis from 1982 – 1987 while he attended the UofM. Neither of us have ever heard of this place, but I really wish I had, it sounds super.

  6. Jerry Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I used to go into this store and have lunch at the Fountain Room which was on the fourth floor. The elevator that took you there was operated by a person in white gloves, not a bank of buttons. Very charming place, very nice women’s clothing. To this day, there is still a woman who runs the elevator, the last in the state of Minnesota still manually operated.

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