City Hall renovation unearths letters from past employees

No doubt you know the saying, “If these walls could talk.” Well, in City Hall they do.  During the renovation of the second floor Public Works area, workers found envelopes with letters from previous City Hall workers.

The 1935 letter, signed by some of the employees from the then City Engineer’s office, tell readers that Franklin D. Roosevelt is president, the world is in the midst of a depression and building renovations are being done with federal funds.

The folks from 1963 addressed their letter to “Bureaucratic successors of another era” and tell readers that they are in the throes of an extensive remodeling and are beset by confusion and dust. They express hope that the quality of service rendered to Minneapolis citizens has remained high and hope readers are in a time of peace, prosperity and goodwill.

The signatories of the 1990 letter provide a snapshot of their year, noting that turmoil is brewing in the Middle East and, in Minneapolis, the Convention Center has just been completed and planning has begun for light rail transit and the reconstruction of I-35W.

In keeping with the tradition, Public Works staff have written a letter that will be placed in the wall along with the previous letters. Their letter, as their predecessor’s letters have done, tells readers who is President, Governor and Mayor, includes a document noting the names of the City Council members, and provides a snapshot of the news of the day. This year’s letter also adds something new: it lists the Public Work’s department’s mission and vision.

View PDF of past letters


Published Feb 29, 2012



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