Looking back: A block of history on Broadway

Published 1:17 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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Story By Linda Evenson

Photos courtesy Freeborn County Historical Museum

Most of the buildings on the east side of the 100 block of South Broadway are more than a century old. Some date back to the 1880s.

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The Plymouth Boot and Shoe store, 129 S. Broadway, opened in a newly constructed brick building in June 1893. The structure at 119 S. Broadway was built a decade earlier. Over the years it housed the City Bank, First National Bank, Albert Lea State Bank, Banquet Café and Mastercraft Camera Shop. The building was remodeled and refaced in 1923. The storefront was replaced in 1935.

The newest kid on the block is the current home of the Albert Lea Art Center, 101 S. Broadway. Gordon Electric razed the earlier structure, once home to the Case Corset Factory, replacing it with a modern building in 1962. At the opposite end of the block, 139 S. Broadway, construction began on the First National Bank building in 1902.