Today, our weekly Throwback Thursday trip through the Epstein archives takes us back to February 7, 1957 for the grand opening of the new Coast to Coast Stores Headquarters & Distribution Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Coast to Coast's extravagant ribbon cutting ceremony included an appearance by Minnesota's Governor Orville Freeman as well as 1,400 Coast to Coast store owners from 17 states and 500 merchandise suppliers. In addition, transportation to the opening ceremony was provided by special trains that ran from downtown Minneapolis into the Coast to Coast facility which was capable of handling 8 rail cars within its massive dock/warehouse space.
This Epstein designed and engineering $3M ($25.5M in 2016) facility was located on a 21-acre site at 7500 Excelsior Blvd. and was Coast to Coast's central office and main product distribution facility. For those of you not familiar with Coast to Coast, they were a hardware, home and automotive supply retailer founded in 1928 that had stores primarily throughout the Midwest and West. The Coast to Coast building also featured a 9,600 square foot model store, or what Coast to Coast called, a merchandise laboratory, as well as full-service restaurant/cafeteria, and a computerized forms/ordering processing area.
Computer Ordering Processing Room
Coast to Coast operated out of this facility until 1977 when it became the home for TV music distributors Pickland/Musicland. Pickland used the facility until 1996 when a printing company called Japs-Olson took over and currently calls this facility home.
From recent Google Earth views the building looks to be in pretty good shape although the Japs-Olson company performed a renovation of the building in the late 90s and the clean mid-century modern elevation has been altered – removing the interesting patterned window treatment and adding a long blue canvas awning along the main elevation. Also, you can no longer take a train into the building as the rail-line spur off the Cedar Lake Trail has been removed.