901 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Young-Quinlan Company

Young-Quinlan Department Store, 1926
Main floor stairs, Young-Quinlan, 1926
Address: 901 Nicollet Avenue
Neighborhood/s: Downtown, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1926
Primary Style: Commercial
Secondary Style: Renaissance Revival
Historic Function: Department Store
Current Function: Commercial
Architect or source of design: F. H. Ackerman

Downtown Minneapolis Hennepin County

901 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.974427° N, 93.2736259° WLatitude: 44°58′27.937″N
Longitude: 93°16′25.053″W
)


From 1926 to 1985, 901-915 Nicollet Mall was home to the Young-Quinlan Department Store.

Contents

History

Young-Quinlan Company

In 1894, Fred D. Young and Elizabeth C. Quinlan, who had worked together as clerks at Goodfellows Dry Goods Store, opened the Young-Quinlan Store in the back of Vrooman’s Glove Company at 514 Nicollet Avenue. The store was the first in Minneapolis to sell ready-to-wear women’s garments. Previously, women had to make their own garments or pay someone else to make them, but at the Young-Quinlan store, they could purchase finished products. The store was popular among upper middle class women and Young-Quinlan soon moved into a larger store in a Syndicate Block building on Nicollet Avenue. In 1911, Fred Young died and Elizabeth Quinlan bought his interest in the company making her the sole owner and president of the Young-Quinlan Company. Quinlan was in charge of store’s entire operation and made frequent buying trips to Paris, Florence, and New York. In 1935, Fortune Magazine named Quinlan the “foremost women specialty executive in America.” An active member of the community, Quinlan founded the Business Women’s Club in 1919 and served as an advisory board member for the Salvation Army and the National Recovery Administration, a New Deal program.

"A Perfect Gem”

In 1926, Quinlan commissioned New York architect Frederick Lee Ackerman to design a new building for the Young-Quinlan Store at 901-915 Nicollet Mall. The five-story building was one of the first buildings in the country to offer an underground parking garage with an elevator to bring patrons to the sales floors. The building was made from tan brick and Kasota stone and was designed in the Chicago Commercial style with Renaissance Revival details like arched display windows, pillars, and balustrades, which are identical on all four sides of the building. The elegant interior featured a large marble staircase with wrought iron-railings, crystal chandeliers, vaulted ceilings, and custom-made display cases. On the opening day of the Quinlan-Young Department Store, Elizabeth Quinlan hosted a “housewarming” for the store. An article in the Minneapolis Tribune estimated that 20,000 people visited the store on its opening day and the crowd waiting to enter was so large that it blocked traffic. At the housewarming, the mayor of Minneapolis as well as a former mayor, Henry Eustis, gave speeches in honor of the store’s opening. Eustis called the building a palace and led the crowd in cheering Quinlan’s accomplishments. Quinlan herself called the building “a perfect gem.” In addition to quality merchandise, Young-Quinlan showcased elaborate displays, such as a collection of Russian imperial jewels housed in the store’s fifth-floor auditorium.

Today

In May 1945, at age 82, Quinlan sold the Young-Quinlan Company to Henry C. Lytton and Company of Chicago. Quinlan passed away two years later and the store was kept closed on the day of her funeral as a tribute. The building remained a department store until 1985. Today, the Young-Quinlan building houses a Dunn Brothers coffee shop, JB Hudson Jewelry store, Target furniture store, and Haskell’s Wine Store on the first floor and office spaces on the upper floors.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

Downtown, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Elizabeth C. Quinlan Residence

Notes

1. City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. “Elizabeth C. Quinlan Residence Designation Study,” December 14, 2009.[1]
2. City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. Heritage Preservation Staff Report. 901 Nicollet Mall/ Young Quinlan Building.
3. City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. “Young Quinlan Department Store.” City of Minneapolis.[2]
4. Nelson, Rick. “A passion for fashion.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 25, 2004, page 1E.
5. Nelson, Rick. “An architectural jewel, repolished.” Minneapolis Star Tribune. February 07, 2008, page 1E.
6. “ Quinlan Rights Set Thursday.” Minneapolis Morning Tribune, September 17, 1947, page 5.
7. "Thousands Fill New Store of Young-Quinlan.” Minneapolis Morning Tribune, June 15, 1926, page 1.
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