The Curtis Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Have you got a story about The Curtis Hotel? Stayed there? Been to the Mesabi Coffee Shop?

We would love to hear about it. Please leave a story below.

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23 Comments

Filed under Minneapolis, Minnesota

23 responses to “The Curtis Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota

  1. Gerry

    My Uncle and Aunt stayed at the Curtis Hotel for their honeymoon from 9/30/1935 to 10/5/1935. The lived in Warren Minnesota up north and were married at my Aunt’s family farm in Angus Minnesota. I have the bill, $3.00 a night, two phone calls, one for 30 cents and one for 20 cents. Total bill, $21.50. They moved to California a couple of years later.

  2. 407-3rd st.s.e.

    I lived in Minneapolis when the twin towers of the Curtis hotel came down. It. was a sad site as I had stayed there as a youth with my parents who were both raised in the Minneapolis area. I had a great view of the demolition that Sunday morning, as I lived at an apartment building called the Waldorf.It was on the corner of Park Avenue and 18th street. The news coverage was there, and all I remember is that when the second tower was imploded, a split second before, a window which would have been in the hallway about on the twelfth floor, opened up! They reviewed the video many times, and no person could be seen doing that. I remember that they sorted through the rubble, thinking that a homeless person may have made their way in there. But nothing was ever found. Back then only a few had cameras to catch everything that happens, now everyone has one. but I have that burnt into the back of my brain. I passed the old Curtis walking home to Park and !8th many times as it was condemned to it’s final fate. So sad, Let’s try to save a few of these giant great hotels. I would rather stay in an old restored hotel than one of these new, what can I say, pieces of crap!

  3. dreamteam

    Does anyone ever forget the Curtis Hotel?
    Our family motored there from “up north” two or three time a year.
    As kids we ran up and down the long narrow connecting hallways for what seemed like hours. The dark wood transem windows that stood above each hotel room door would usually be half open. Through them you could hear
    the muffled conversations of travelers.
    In the morning everyone headed down to the Mesabi Coffee shop for breakfast.
    The smell of bacon and maple syrup permeated the air. I always grabbed a chair facing the large Mural showing the steamshovels carving out terraced canyons in the great Mesabi iron range..

  4. Daniel Ewer

    My grandparents Tom and Mary Collins worked there. Probably met there.
    Tom was an elevator operator. Mary worked in the restaurant.

  5. Robert T Walters

    Was Mary a waitress? I may have worked with her.. who knows? At age 15, I got my first job there lying about my age, and wasn’t caught..ss# and all. To this say, the most joyful memories of any job were here. Joining the Hotel and Bartenders Union at that age was awesome. Envy of my classmates at Vocational High across the street. Many were jealous, and sought me to help get them jobs, Step in to the little door on the se side, punch the time clock, get your painfully starched white over sized busboy uniform, shower in the locker room, change, walk through the Curtis’ endless catacombs passing the giant boiler… passing the bakery kitchen where all pies, and baked goods were freshly made daily.. and the ice cream is handmade there also. For awhile I worked the midnight to 7am shift alone, I had the serenity of working alone in the Mesabi Coffee Shop stocking waitress stations etc. Waitresses Blanche, Yvette, Mary, Mary Ann, Vivian and all.. Sunday brunch was served at the great Cardinal Room , where I can still smell the Sterno cans keeping the Eggs Benedict and fresh salmon hot. Those dining rooms..The East Room, The Solarium and others. The indoor and the outdoor pools, The Garden Lounge in the basement where I eventually tended bar.. serving surprise visitors such as The Suburbs and The Cars.. the Broadway casts performing at The Orpheum.. I’ve made many Curtis Hotel room service deliveries I to the famous such as Robert Stack, Butterfly McQueen, Bette Midler, Shirley MacLaine, etc..I’m just getting started, but I’m over staying my welcome. I just realized now, that I could probably write an actual book with chapters of experiences I had there over a period between 1974 to 79. Who knows, maybe someday, I will

    • Gary Melony

      Rob- I was just looking up what info the internet had on the Curtis. I saw your remarks and had to respond. I was the Asst Manger and manger during the time you you were there. I recall all the staff you mentioned. Your boss at the the time would have been O.H.Perry. What great guy. He passed away last summer at age 93, three months after his wife died. I ran into another waitress at target last week (BEV) don’t remember her last name. When in the lounge ,your boss may have been Leroy Parkin before he was promoted to Asst Mgr. He is still alive doing fairly well at 80.I can’t say that I recall your name ( I am bad with names ) but would recognize a visual. Anyway great memories – thank you.
      Gary Melony

      • Phil

        Gary… Are You a grandson of Clint and Virginia? Son of Chuck or Dick ?
        If so… do you remember the navy blue 1968 Cadillac that “Del” used to drive your grandpa to the Curtis in ?

      • Robin Allegra

        Hi Gary, I’m researching the Curtis Hotel and the occupants in about 1940, 1939. Do you remember a house detective, Eugene August Staib? I see that there was a Jean Melony, age 24 at that time, related? I’d so love to hear more! thanks!
        Robin
        datura27@comcast.net

  6. Dawn

    I found an old panoramic original photo of the Curtis Hotel with a large number of men sitting outside and the bottom reads “regional Conference, Region 3, June 5-7, 1941. Super cool photograph…hope to find someone who may want it in their collection!

  7. Kathy Reed

    Hello, my father, Jesse ‘Bud’ Reed, worked as a boiler technician at The Curtis Hotel. If i remember correctly, he built the big chandelier in the lobby. I do not know when he started there but he worked there until he passed away in December 1975.

  8. Kathy Battles Skinker

    My parents, Jim Battles and Shirley Leonard Battles spent their wedding night at the Curtis Hotel on November 17, 1945. As I was growing up in Richfield, my great aunt Elsie Sweeney would come to Minneapolis by train every Thanksgiving and she would stay at the Curtis. We would drive from 68th St South, all the way downtown on Nicollet Ave. to pick her up each morning and drop her off each night. I loved to ride along with my Dad! When the Curtis closed I bought a dinner plate and gave it to my parents for their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Was so sad to see it torn down.

    • Sally melony@visi.com schneider

      Hi. I was chuck melony’ s daughter. I also worked at the front desk and cashier cage in 1967-1969 while going to my last 2 years of college at Hamline University. I do remember that Cadillac that Del drove my grandfather around in. I’d forgotten about Del and that car so it’s fun to read all the posts that being back so many great memories. My parents Jean and Chuck Melony lived at the hotel after they were married until my sister was born in 1940.

    • Robert Walters

      Gary Melony. Wow. I do remember you. But actually, since it was my first job, and I got it from a neighbor in SW Mpls whose name was “Bud” something. He was either mgr of the Garden Lounge, or the Coffee Shop or f&b director. All I know is I was 15, and lied about my age to get this UNION job that every dude at SW 9th grade coveted. Bud knew I was only 15 but helped me get hired anyway. Me and my friend Ron Redmond. White coated busboy & rm svc waiter. What is it about adolescent girls from small towns,when they’re together, aggressively seek a yng boy to kiss? They were all just crazy to be kissed in the stairwell. Then it’s back to Bagley. I still remember specific lines, dirty poems etc scribbled on the men’s rm employee stall wall. So disgusting back then, would seem tame now such as, “Marvin is gay” “flush twice. It’s a long way to the Meloney’s house”, and “vote for Nixon in ’72 why switch Dicks in the middle of a screw?” We were all young, stupid, and clueless re how very lucky we were to have a real union job that was such fun, and paid well for it to boot.

  9. Nancy

    My parents and I lived in Chicago and many summers in the 1950’s we took the train to Minneapolis to visit our relatives. We always stayed at the Curtis Hotel. I remember the grand lobby and having breakfast in the Mesabi coffee shop. I was fascinated by the mural showing heavy equipment on the iron range. I also loved the enclosed pool. One time my aunts came to the hotel and we all went to the downstairs lounge to hear Helen O’Connell sing. So sad to know that this historic hotel is gone.

  10. sha Perry

    My dad and grandpa lived in the Curtis hotel in the 1940s when they met Marion, Mildred and Irene Murphy who lived lived in room 332. My sister and I would call there on Saturdays and ask for room 332. I absolutely loved staying there with my sister when I was very young. Mildred was my Widowed grandpas girlfriend and lived there until she passed and she would have us stay with her in that beautiful apartment. I remember the breakfast room and the beautiful outdoor pool where I learned to swim…all the beautiful flowers and trees, they don’t make them like that anymore.

  11. Hela Knowlton

    I am hoping to verify the accuracy of my memories from the late 50’s and 60’s that my great Aunt and Uncle (Olga and Morris Brody) had a business (Brody’s Bar?) in the Curtis Hotel in Minneapolis. I remember eating in the restaurant (The Rainbow Room?). I treasure the few items I have from the bar and want to get the information straight before passing these on to my children.

  12. Deb M Lang

    I just learned of the Curtis Hotel today. I was at my parents home helping my Dad cut lumber with his Timber King and spotted a 4ft by 8 ft metal sign that says: The Curtis Hotel Minneapolis MN. Dad said that sign has been there since he bought the farm about 50 yrs ago. Gonna put it on Craig’s list in the event someone would like this memory. Deb L

  13. Nancy Miller

    Does anyone remember a man named Du Fresne, I think Henry or Harry? He is my grandfather and lived there in a room for many years until he died in his room in 1949. He knew everyone it seems. I was only 3 and never knew him, have some old photos but that is it. The hotel sent my mom his steamer trunk after his death in 1949, this is all I have. I was reading the tag from it today. Feeling melancholy today, would love some info but I know this is a long shot. My mom was born in 1909, only child, so I am guessing he was born around 1885-1890. Probably died at 60+..my guess. I sure wish I knew more. I know he was very successful in business. keep thinking how sad to be found dead in a lonely room. He visited my mom a lot but this is were he lived for years. Wish my mom was still here….so many questions I have. Anyone remember Mr. Du Fresne, French man. Much thanks.
    5/30/16

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  15. We were just cleaning out a box of old keys (like a million of them) and found a room key on a plastic fob…for room 723. I’ll send it to the first person who wants it!

  16. Roger C.

    Back in July to Dec of 1961, when I was going to College, Curtis was where I’d meet some of my parents friends or my own parents for a meal & good old fashion visit when they were in town on business … great memories ! I lived in a boarding house on Park Ave and relish those memories also. Remember Radio AM WDGY ?? Times I’d like to return to that time …

  17. Phil, I am the daughter of Chuck Melony. We ended up with CC’s navy blue 68 Cadillac but it was subjected to too many Minnesota winters. I do remember when it was brand new, pretty classy. And, who could forget Del?? She was my grandmothers faithful companion until the day Virginia passed away.
    So many memories of our “home away from home” over the years and the wonderful people who worked there. It was a wonderful family welcome hotel for all ages.

  18. noel

    I worked for Honeywell Canadal in 1957 and was sent to work in Minneapolis for six months, summer and winter, and I stayed at the Mark Twain opposite the Curtis Hotel. I ate every night at the Curtis Mesabi room with a friend and the meals are still remembered
    .

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