|Address||10 West Lake Street|
|Opened||March 5, 1978|
|Retail floor area||91,805 square feet (8,529.0 m2)|
Kmart #3405 was a Kmart discount department store located at 10 West Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The store opened March 5, 1978 and closed June 2020. Nicollet Avenue, a major thoroughfare in the area, was closed between 29th Street and Lake Street and blocked by the store building, requiring traffic to go around it on Blaisdell Avenue (southbound) and 1st Avenue (northbound). This closure was controversial for decades, with the city's director of Community Planning and Economic Development describing it in 2014 as "the worst planning mistake in Minneapolis history." After the bankruptcy of Sears Holdings Corporation, the city agreed in March 2020 to close and demolish the store, reopen Nicollet, and redevelop the area. It was originally planned to close on June 30, but the store was damaged by rioting during the George Floyd protests and stated that it would not reopen. At the time of its closure, it was the only remaining Kmart store in Minnesota.
After the store closed, various community members proposed creating murals on the side of the building before it was demolished, which Kmart management initially rejected. Black artist Leslie Barlow said that at one point, a white Kmart manager approved some mural designs, before he "saw who we were, and reversed his approval, calling the ideas 'anarchist'." Ultimately, the store management allowed mural painting to begin on June 15, continuing through June 26. One of the murals, painted by white artist Christina Marie and titled "Reconciliation", depicted a white police officer hugging a Black protester. Civil rights activists in Minneapolis described "Reconciliation" as "tone-deaf" and "insensitive", with former Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy Armstrong calling the mural "out of touch... with reality" and "an example of some of the gaslighting and nonsense we as Black people have to deal with in this town."
References[edit | edit source]
- "Kmart latest" spreadsheet.
- Lee, Jessica. "Minneapolis’ decision to buy and demolish Minnesota’s last Kmart, explained", MinnPost, March 6, 2020.
- Ewoldt, John. "At Kmart in Minneapolis, the blue light special's last gleaming", Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 6, 2020.
- Eler, Alicia. "'Tone-deaf' mural on Lake Street Kmart removed", Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 8, 2020.