The run-around

It had been a few years since the team called in a serious challenge, so team captain Matthew decided to put a little pre-Trivia preparation into a challenge. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Goat Posse took the challenge to staff the phone line for the entire 50 hours only to have a few requests for this team or that team to head out for a drink.

The idea was to send the other teams on a hunt for St. Cloud area landmarks that don’t exist anymore. So, a PDF was prepared and the call was made… All teams were challenged to find what now stands in place of these landmarks and photograph themselves in front of them, the winner was to be the team that came to the award ceremonies with the most correct. In the event of a tie, NMZ team captain Matthew was to determine a winner based on the creativity of the photos presented. The bounty was a beer for the winners.

While there were several to come forward and verbally give answers, only one team stepped up and took the challenge. A group of high school students from Romulus Can’t Reamus turned in a mostly successful collection of photos, but unfortunately they weren’t quite of age to claim the prize. Scroll down to see the list, and further down are the answers (with photos from Romulus Can’t Reamus).

Listen to the call

We’ve shamelessly stolen this from the Goat Posse Website for your listening enjoyment.

“Team NMZ calls the late night crew of Princess Yum-Yum and Digital Dave to present possibly the most well-prepared and well thought out challenge of the year: a photo scavenger hunt that required some trivial knowledge/research of St. Cloud landmarks to complete. Of course, DD struggles to make a joke, resulting in the year’s only ‘crickets’.”

The checklist

What follows is the original list given, and you can find the PDF linked here. Quick, before you scroll down for the answers, do you actually know where these places are?

  • Sid & Cecil’s Little City
  • Red Owl
  • Pan Manufacturing Company (NOT Pan Motor Company)
  • Rox Ball Park
  • The A&W Drive-In on St. Germain
  • The original Carnegie-built St. Cloud Public Library
  • Old Main at St. Cloud State
  • McMillans Restaurant
  • Cinema Arts 1-2-3
  • Zapp Bank (Either downtown location)
  • Grand Central Hotel
  • St. Raphael’s Hospital
  • Big Bear
  • Fandel’s
  • Tootsie’s (Either of their last two locations)

The answers

Sid & Cecil’s Little City: Before there were the O’Hara Brothers, there was Sid and Cecil. And before they opened their restaurant and bar on the corner of 33rd and 3rd (which still survives as McCann’s), they operated a convenience store and liquor shop across the street. So, while the photos here are a wrong answer, they were close.

Oh, so close. If only they’d ventured across the street to the gas station.

Let’s not get carried away, now…

Red Owl: There were at least three grocery stores operating under this name, but the one that was in mind for this challenge was the location on Waite Avenue, across the street from Crossroads. Westside Liquor and Petco now occupy the building.

Pan Manufacturing Company (NOT Pan Motor Company): The trick was that we were not looking for Pan Motor Company, the storied St. Cloud auto maker, but the manufaturing shop that Sam Pandolfo opened after he served his jail term. While Pan Motor Company continued for a couple years without its founder in the location now occupied by Electrolux (and pictured below, an unfortunately incorrect answer), Pandolfo opened up shop next door with the intent of building, well, random stuff. The office for the company is now the red-painted St. Cloud Chiropractic building on 33rd, while the factory is the large building behind it.

Maybe if the car company had been successful, they’d be popping out the top of a Pan minivan.

Rox Ball Park: Before there were the River Bats providing a place for college students to keep up their baseball skills over the summer, there was a professional minor league team in St. Cloud called the Rox. And before the city of St. Cloud sold off the land for development (therefore being able to collect taxes on the land), the Rox Ballpark stood where Westgate Shopping Center can be found. And while the Byerly’s, Office Max, and empty space formerly known as Media Play are there now, does anyone remember when the center of the shopping center was an encolosed, two-story shopping mall? Every Christmas you could go to Crossroads to talk to Santa, but it was Westgate that had the talking Christmas Tree. Ah, memories…

Well, at least you can still go in and buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack, right?

The A&W Drive-In on St. Germain: At one time, St. Germain wasn’t just a few segments of roadway that just happen to all have the same name but the main thouroughfare across St. Cloud. This was before the much wider Highway 23 and County Road 75 cut through, chopping up the former main drag. Behind Wendy’s, at the corner of Division and Washington Memorial Drive, you’ll find a little gift shop with an odd, pointy roof. This was originally a car hop with the A&W logo on it, proudly serving up root beer in the iconic glass mugs for all those willing to park.

The original Carnegie-built St. Cloud Public Library: Yes, before the library was torn down to make way for the proposed Civic Center expansion, the city of St. Cloud had torn down another library after building the brown lump of 1970s architecture that until recently served the city. This was a small, classic-looking library built for the benefit of the city by none other than Andrew Carnegie and James J. Hill, railroad magnates that had a habit of putting up structures of learning across their empires. The old library stood across the street from Granite City Comics, now a parking lot for Wells Fargo.

Old Main at St. Cloud State: It was the first building built specifically for the young St. Cloud Normal School, allowing them to expand out of the old hotel on the banks of the Mississippi where the school was founded, and over the years it was expanded, built upon, and had even survived a fire before falling victim to the wrecking ball. If anyone cares to notice that Stewart Hall is built in the shape of an "L", the reason is that it was built around the front and side of Old Main. The school took the day off and conscripted the students to carry desks, chairs, and books from one building to the other, a scant fifteen feet or so from the front door of Old Main to the back door of Stewart.

Our intrepid scavengers cleverly stand in front of the sign commemorating the original SCSU building.

It’s no use being sad about it. They bulldozed Old Main long before you were born.

McMillans Restaurant: Forget Perkins. Screw IHOP. St. Cloud had its own locally-owned 24-hour diner, and it was McMillans, a popular landmark not just as a place to eat but as the place where the high school kids cruising Division Street made their U-turn.

We’re so excited about finding this place, we’re going to do our best imitation of a stack of pancakes!

Cinema Arts 1-2-3: With new movies opening at Crossroads Cinema and Parkwood, the triplex downtown was a longtime destination for people wanting to see movies on the cheap. The place was demolished to make way for a hotel and a small strip mall.

Hey! There’s one, two, three of us!

Wait, why are we doing the pancake stack for the movie theater?

Zapp Bank (Either downtown location): For a hundred years, the Zapp family owned and operated this local financial institution before selling out to the regional conglomerate U. S. Bank. While the photo below shows the impressive granite tower across the street from the Paramount and the former First Bank tower (also swallowed up by U. S. Bank), we would have also accepted the current offices for Aria.

Do you think they still have the Zephyr the Dog costume in there somewhere?

Grand Central Hotel: The premier place to stay in St. Cloud in its heyday, this hotel spent its final years as a dirty, roach-infested dump with a less than stellar reputation. It was leveled to make way for a parking lot that was used as the downtown bus depot, and now in the old location once again stands one of the finer hotels in the city: The Raddission. And, once again, our photos are unfortunately of the place next door. So close, but we can’t fault them for this misstep. They were going on information that the bartender provided them.

And here’s their best imitation of an indy rock band album cover.

Oh, so close. All they had to do was go next door. Again.

St. Raphael’s Hospital: Before opening the St. Cloud Hospital in the 1920s, the Benedictine Sisters operated three different hospitals in two locations under the name "St. Raphael’s". One still stands on 9th Avenue North, and was for a long time used as a retirement home for the order.

Another photo hanging from the car? This might become a bad habit…

Big Bear: It was like Mill’s Fleet Farm, excpet without all the building supplies. It’s where you could get your overalls, your pet food, your tractor parts, and your cattle feed, all in one convenitent location. And it’s been bulldozed, the Panera on Division Street now stands in its parking lot and a strip mall occupies what’s left of the old building.

Fandel’s: Sears, JC Penney, Herberger’s, and Fandel’s. All were located in Downtown St. Cloud at one time, back before local retailler preferred big-box stores with vast parking lots and the weather-proof confines of Crossroads Center. Fandel’s was one of the locally-owned department stores and the biggest competition for the other local heavyweight, Herberger’s. The survivor of this business rivalry, Herbergers, eventually expanded their store across the street and enveloped the old Fanel’s building. Somewhere behind the facade are both of the old stores, the gap bridged by the newer addition blocking 6th Avenue.

Quick. look trendy again! Now that we have all these cover photos, we just have to record a few hit songs.

Tootsie’s (Either of their last two locations): Similar in style to Spencer’s, but with decidely more personality, this downtown institution had at least three storefronts downtown. The last two were directly across the street from each other, one in the front of what is now the Pioneer Place Theater, the other being the newer half of the Red Carpet complex.

Ass-kicking fact: After Tootsie’s moved across the street, the mother of NMZ member Aja opened a small gift store in this location.

Incidentally, both of the last two locations for Tootsie’s are currently drinking establishments.