(Spin Knits Fabric Company)
- 350-64 Sibley (at Fifth) -
- 1882, attributed to J. Walter Stevens -
The buildings on the south side of Mears Park share many business connections. Noyes Brothers and Cutler rented the John Wann Building before constructing their own building a block to the north. After only a few years, they built the Powers Dry Goods Company building, apparently with that tenant in mind. Powers grew into a major Twin Cities department store before Donaldson's (now Carson Pirie Scott) bought them out in a struggle to keep pace with Dayton's.
Noyes Brothers and Cutler employed Stevens to design yet another wholesale house. The Fairbanks-Morse Company, makers of scales, windmills, pumps, and engines, took over this building in the 1920s. Adaptation for use as Metropolitan Council offices required expanded space, so renovators combined this structure with its neighbor. By strategic location of elevators and connecting stairways, they were able to compensate for different floor heights in the two buildings.
The Wann building, with its neighbor, illustrates the evolution of decorative fashions in architecture. The Wann building still retains the rounded window hoods characteristic of its Italianate design, although the original heavy cornice and elaborate entrance disappeared years ago. The Fairbanks-Morse building demonstrates the more subdued features of the Classical Revival style, using contrasting brick and stone for decorative effects in place of fancy carving or brickwork.