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Lowertown, Saint Paul, MN
USA

Lowertown Landing is dedicated to supporting the continued growth and rejuvenation of the Lowertown historic district of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

1927 Finch Building - Cosmopolitan.jpeg

The Cosmopolitan

(Previously known as: Finch, Van Slyck, and McConville Dry Goods Co. - 366 Wacouta St.)  

One of the later additions to Lowertown, this warehouse was built in 1911. Originally a dry goods store founded in 1856, Finch, Van Slyck & McConville transitioned into wholesaling in the 1860s, and were the largest in the city by the 20th century. Looking to consolidate its operations, the company hired Chicago architect James Denson and Minneapolis engineer C.A.P. Turner to build their new structure. What they got was the latest in building technology (with just a hint of neo-classicism): Turner designed a revolutionary slab-and-column system based off a reinforced concrete frame, allowing for far more space between supports. It would soon become industry standard in construction, with numerous advantages: the mushroom-shaped concrete columns allowed for more floorspace, larger windows, greater strength, and were nearly fireproof (unlike the nearby wood-framed buildings). Two bays were added to the north side of the building in 1923. The building was converted to residential use in 1986.