If you have visited Traditions’ Minneapolis showroom at 4245 Excelsior Boulevard, you are familiar with the vintage building’s unique layout and style, including the beautiful courtyard surrounded by what appears to be a U-shaped building. In actuality, the building consists of two separate structures, now known as Traditions and The Studio, that flank the courtyard in a U-shape.
The yellow brick building was constructed in 1940 as Miracle Mile was just beginning, and has since been home to many small businesses.
The Joppa Pharmacy was the first drug store to sell TVs when it occupied the left wing of the building from 1948 to 1953. It then became the Warren Pharmacy, which remained until 1970. Meanwhile, the Irish Washerwoman operated in the basement of the same building from 1948 to 1967. The laundry business offered self-service or full-service options with twenty Bendix washers. These businesses also advertised their Soda Grill and TV Lounge, which was located in the basement.
The middle section of the building housed many doctors and dentists over the years, most notably, The Kindy Optical Company. Dr. Richard Kindy, who opened this location in 1954, was renowned for having a mini-golf course in part of what is now the courtyard, offering it as entertainment for patients and fellow Miracle Mile businesspeople (Above Right Image; Tubert, 1982). In the lower-level of this section, the Joppa Beauty Salon and Barber Shop operated from 1942 to 1947 and Deloris Larson’s salon from 1951 to 1961.
On the right, where The Studio is today, housed several businesses over the years, including Arcade Television and Appliances from 1950 to 1972, later renamed Arcade TV and Organ. Northwest Guitar and Accordion also occupied the space, offering instrument sales, rentals, and lessons. Additionally, the Minikahda Barber Shop was located there briefly from 1960 to 1962 before Wayne and Esther’s “Cameo Coiffure” salon moved in for a period of time.
Since then these buildings have been home to a multitude of local ventures including the renowned Jon English Salon from 1999 to 2006. In 2008 Traditions moved in and since then we have greatly appreciated the charm of our beautiful showroom and learning about its history has helped us feel an even deeper connection to it!
Excelsior and Joppa. St Louis Park Historical Society. (n.d.). https://slphistory.org/joppa/
Tubert, J. (1982, May 6). Zany golfers think small when they putt it there. Star Tribune.