60 years at our world headquarters
It was a chilly weekend with a dusting of snow on the ground 60 years ago when more than 100 workers on double shifts trucked the contents of our global headquarters from downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, to the current campus in the city of Golden Valley.
The move on March 3, 1958, eight miles west of downtown to 9200 Wayzata Blvd. – now No. 1 General Mills Blvd. – became part of a trend when it was over. As World War II receded and large businesses focused on growth, space was needed. So America saw businesses migrating to the suburbs and expansive campuses.
“I’m sure the challenge was as the company kept growing they couldn’t find contiguous space downtown,” says Mike Nordstrom, vice president of Global Workplace Solutions. “They didn’t just come out and buy a small piece of land. It’s been very adaptable for us over the years. We’ve been able to add office space around the original building.”
Indeed, the General Mills campus in 1958 doesn’t resemble what you see today. (For an interactive comparison of aerial shots of our campus then and now, click here).
About 800 employees made the transition to the new headquarters after that March weekend in 1958, when men in overalls and baseball caps moved 800 tons of equipment, files and furniture.
Employees did have a chance, a few weeks earlier, to get a sneak peek of what they were getting into. And an open house was held in June 1958 for 15,000 guests that included shareholders, media and curious citizens.
More than half a century later, the building was praised for features that seemed futuristic in 1958. Those included an early style green roof and a cooling system that used groundwater rather than electricity for the building’s air conditioning.
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