Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ice Castle History

On Sunday when my daughter and I walked to Rice Park to see the ice sculptures we got to Landmark Center before it opened. Yesterday with the temperature around 40 degrees (+4 C) -- amazing for Minnesota in January -- I couldn't stay indoors all the time. I took the walk back.

On the way I saw a couple lovely winter scenes.
Last year all of this would have been covered with snow, for by this time last last year we had received 55 inches (1.5 meter) of snow.

At the Landmark Center there is an exhibit of models of previous Ice Castles although during World War II they got much smaller and were called Ice Palaces.

Here's a photo of the model of the first one, built in 1886.
It was 106 feet high and it's foot print was 180 x 154 feet.

It must have been so much fun in 1886 that another was built in 1887.

The horse and wagon beside the model for a later 19th century Ice Castle reminds us that transport was different in those days.

I found the one below a bit poignant.
This one was built in January 1941 before our world turned upside down in December 1941. I thought about the happy people walking through this Ice Castle without the knowledge of what the next 4 years would bring. And yes, I do know that the world of others had been turned upside down almost two years before January 1941.

Above is a late 20th century Ice Castle, this one built in 1992. This castle was constructed on Harriett Island, just across the river from where I live now. It was part of the festivities for the 1992 Super Bowl which was played here on January 26 that year.

Walking out to Rice Park I found my guess from Sunday was correct. Good thing we went that day to see the ice sculptures for they surely were melting. However, the weather was just perfect for this guy.
People were having fun sticking pennies on this figure.

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