You've passed the White Castle castle on the corner of 33rd and Lyndale a million times and probably wondered: What sort of princess resides in its shiny white turret? WCCO's Finding Minnesota recently looked into the the building and its history.
I already knew a bit about its present occupant. Owner Randy McPeck describes himself as "not your average Joe type of guy." No kidding. The guy owns 200 accordions--he plays them, repairs, them, and teaches lessons at the shop.
But I was unawares of the specifics on the castle's history. Via 'cco:
It was one of the first White Castles constructed in the United States, a portable building with a stainless steel and porcelain exterior, built in the 1930s.
It first appeared in Minneapolis in 1936, on Washington Avenue near the U of M. And then in the 1950s it was carefully and slowly moved down city streets to a new address, 329 Central Ave. Southeast. In the 1980s, new and more modern White Castles started popping up and this old building faced demolition. That's when the owner found yet another new location for it, the corner of 33rd and Lyndale.
Apparently 55 of the buildings were made between 1926 and 1942, modeled after the historic Chicago Water Tower. Today, there are only a half-dozen left in the United States and they're listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
McPeck says some people still come to the Castle expecting slyders:
"A lot of times they ring the bell and yeah, 'Are you open?'" he said, with a laugh. "Usually they'll finally figure it out. Usually they are out-of-town people that just see the sign that says open. 'Gee, the parking lot is empty; I can get right in.'"