Placeography:Featured place/2014-08

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Town Talk Diner, 2701 East Lake Street, Minneapolis,Minnesota

The Town Talk Diner opened in 1946. This post-war period marked the return of a significant number of former soldiers to the country and the work force. Many in Minneapolis found employment at the Minneapolis -Moline tractor factory, which was located approximately 2 blocks west of the Town Talk Diner at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue. The factory has since been demolished and a Target department store and surface parking lot now occupy the site. Paul Pearson took advantage of the small vacant strip left in the streetscape to build the diner on a busy street near a significant employer. The large, bright,colorful sign brought substantial visibility to the site from passing street cars,buses, and cars, making it easy to spot despite its small size. The Town Talk Diner is a unique example of infill development in a part of the City that was largely built out by the post-war period. The most notable design element of the Town Talk Diner is the large sign, which covers an even larger surface area than the storefront itself. This eye-catching sign was undoubtedly seen as crucial to drawing customers into the small storefront, which would otherwise be easy to overlook. The rounded-yet-blocky letters that comprise the Town Talk Diner sign are a strong example of this design aesthetic. The design integration of the sign and storefront architecture at the Town Talk Diner is the primary character defining feature of the building. While the storefront is an example of the streamline Art Moderne style.

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