Hilton Minneapolis – Minneapolis, Minnesota

The last time I was in Minneapolis for work I was put up in the Hilton Minneapolis downtown but toward the end of the skyway. It is the third hotel I have stayed in for work out there and by far my favorite.

Despite the lobby being torn up for remodeling and the fact that every single time I went back to the hotel via the front entrance (rather than the skyway) I had to go through a different door the experience on a whole was quite lovely. I actually didn’t even mind the musical doors, it just made me chuckle.

The rooms were simple, clean and well equipped. Complete with hair dryer, nice sample sized shampoo, coffee pot and a TV with normal channels. Have you ever been to a hotel where they have cable but they have the strangest channels accessible?! So strange. The shower did not make strange squealing noises which seems to be common for me, and the temperate control was actually controllable.

They also had a really nice dining room/bar area. A REALLY great breakfast buffet full of fresh cut, not wilted sad, fruit. Fresh pastries, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, tons of cereal choices, bagels, fresh lox and GREAT coffee. The gym on the mezzanine level was also nicely equipped, clean, new and not stuffy. I didn’t try to pool but plenty of other people did and they clearly loved it.

 

In addition to all the other pluses and a must have for any hotel in Minneapolis if you are there for work, is the connection to the skyway. Never have I spent more time in a place with such changeable and challenging weather. And while I still find it odd in concept, I find the skyway a complete lifesaver when getting to and from meetings pretty much year round. No more worrying about wearing or carrying things that work for both subzero or crazy hot and humid PLUS office. You can get from hotel to office without ever leaving a climate controlled environment even if it is several blocks away. Brilliant.

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The Greatest Restaurant That is No More 

**Stained glass in the balcony**

In the winter of 2016 I was sent to Minneapolis Minnesota for work. It was cold, horribly horribly cold, like negative 12 degrees cold. I was in the process of buying a house and moving with my husband and being sent out to what was basically Antarctica for my mild weather loving PNW self was not exactly what I wanted to be doing.

**Carved glass pendant lights**

 

But there was a small little beacon that cheered me up, a coworker who knew my obsession with Art Deco architecture took me the Il Foro. A newly opened Italian restaurant and bar in the historic Forum Cafeteria.

**Is that not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?**

 

The Forum Cafeteria was originally built in 1914 as a part of the Sax Theater. The building continued to change hands over the years, in 1930 the interior was updated with a Minnesota themed Art Deco interior including pine cones, trees and waterfalls.

**Viking motifs painted on beveled wall mirrors**

 

I spoke with one of the employees at Il Foro and he mentioned that at some point in the buildings history the building itself was set to be condemned but the cafeteria interior and façade was already on the national historic registry.

**Carved bakelite wall sconces**

So before the building was torn down, a team was brought in the map and document every single bit of the interior, which was then carefully removed, stored and eventually rebuilt in it’s new location. The façade however, is still missing somewhere in a storage facility under the city.

 

**Onyx pillars and pine cone carved tiles**

 

 

**Look at the corner**

 

I was so in awe of the Bakelite wall tiles, carved motifs, matching wall sconces, chandeliers and beveled mirrors I spent the entire evening just wandering around taking pictures. Thank goodness it was a slow night, otherwise I would have been all up in everyone’s space.

 

**Look at all those lights!**

 

 

**Can we just get a little zoom on these bakelite tiles**

Sadly and perhaps because they were nearly empty on a Thursday night, Il Foro closed it’s doors recently. I honestly do not know why, the food and service were excellent. However I have read a few articles about the construction of the building exterior and seemingly non spectacular façade making walk in traffic low.

**Carved trees and pinecones in onxy bakelite**

I am sure another restaurant will open in the space, it is after all protected by the national historic registry and should remain safety preserved no matter what businesses fill it’s space.

**This is just the banister to the balcony staircase**

 

If you ever find yourself in Minneapolis and want to see if another establishment has opened in the location, you can find it a 40S Seventh St. Minneapolis Minnesota.

 

**Just one more time for good measure, I swoon**

 

Questions:

Have you ever had the pleasure of seeing the interior of this building. What iteration of it’s life was that? Or if not are there any amazing art deco architectural gems near you?