Black and white portrait of Wilbur Burton Foshay, 1929.

Wilbur B. Foshay

Wilbur Burton Foshay, 1929.

Foshay, Wilbur (1881–1957)

In 1932, singer Bing Crosby had a major hit with his recording of E. Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney's song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" Its lyrics could have been the story of Wilbur B. Foshay: "Once I built a tower up to the sun/ brick and rivet and lime/ Once I built a tower, now it's done/ Brother, can you spare a dime?" Foshay built a fortune, built a tower in Minneapolis—and then lost it all in the stock market crash of 1929.

Black and white photograph of Foshay Tower and IDS Center, Minneapolis, 1975.

Foshay Tower and IDS Center, Minneapolis

The Philip Johnson-designed IDS Center, seen behind the Foshay, supplanted the Foshay Tower as Minneapolis's tallest building when it opened in 1972.

Black and white photograph of Foshay Tower at Ninth Street and Marquette, Minneapolis, 1958

Foshay Tower at Ninth Street and Marquette, Minneapolis

The tower was built upon an existing two-story structure, which formed the base of the new skyscraper, 1958.

Black and white photograph of the elevator to Foshay Tower observation balcony, Minneapolis, 1948.

Elevator to Foshay Tower observation balcony, Minneapolis

Elevator to Foshay Tower observation balcony, Minneapolis, 1948.

Black and white photograph of reception and waiting room of the Foshay Tower, 1931.

Reception and Waiting Room, Foshay Tower Corporation, Minneapolis

The reception and waiting room, Foshay Tower Corporation, Minneapolis, 1931.

Black and white photograph of Foshay Tower dedication ceremonies, 1929.

Dedication ceremonies of the Foshay Tower taken in the gardencourt showing "Scherzo" sculpture, Minneapolis

Foshay Tower dedication ceremonies taken in the garden court and showing Harriet Frishmuth's bronze sculpture Scherzo, 1929.

Black and white photograph of the interior of the Foshay Tower, 1929–1930.

Interior of the Foshay Tower, Minneapolis

Interior of the Foshay Tower, 1929–1930.

Black and white photograph of Foshay Tower, 821 S. Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, 1928–1929.

Foshay Tower, Minneapolis

Foshay Tower, 821 S. Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, 1928–1929.

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