Monday, Jul. 13, 2009


Photo credit: Richard Cummins / Corbis

You may not know the name, but you sure know the façade. Mickey's Diner in St. Paul is perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in all of America — an Art Deco gem built to look like a railroad dining car. Opened in 1939, the restaurant was prefabricated by Jerry O'Mahony Inc. in Elizabeth, N.J., then shipped by rail to Minnesota and plunked down in the middle of the city. An ad from the period promised, "Jerry O'Mahony dining cars are recognized by every community as a distinct addition to their particular neighbourhood." The restaurant must be doing something right. Mickey's has survived for seven decades and is the last of its kind in the state.