Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

CDC : Northside (Plymouth Avenue Renewal

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Left : The area redeveloped by CDC in 1968-69 as the Northside plant, CDI Institute and Child Development Centre (coincidentally CDC?)  The plant address was 277 12th Avenue North to the right, Washington Avenue foreground, 10th Avenue left (there was no 11th Avenue).  The building centre right on 12th Avenue is noted the Blainey school; this was the site of the plant. The section facing Washington Avenue was the site of the CDI building circa 1970.

Right : An architect’s impression of the proposed plant. 12th Avenue North in the foreground and looking back towards Washington Avenue- this was in fact a “dead-end” street, cut off just past the car park by the freeway shown bottom left in the image.

CDC won considerable kudos for developing the facility in what was predominantly a black slum area, but did it have quite the positive effect that norris may have intended ?

CDC Racial Policy : A Dissenting Voice



Above : THEN : The Northside Plant (brrrr! .. Where John O’Neil’s overcoat when you need it?  Right : somewhat sunnier climes

Below : NOW : The street image now shows as the International Education Centre, seemingly for younger children given the playground equipment shown. The Google map image of the area has it as the Minnesota International Middle Charter School

Above :THEN : The Control Data Institute building from the corner of 10th Avenue North and Washington Avenue, 1970

Below : NOW : The offices of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, the forerunner of which closely involved with the renewal of the Northside district. Amazing what a difference a few trees makes!

1971 : The Childhood Development Center.  I originally thought this was the Blainey school after refurbishment; it has the only gabled roof visible in the 1968 area image, but there is no sign of it today  (perhaps an extended car park).  

The image below shows Walter F. Mondale visiting the Center in 1973. Mondale, then a Senator for Minnesota pledged $1 million from the Department of Labor to fund the plant job training, later Vice-President and unsuccessful Presidential candidate against incumbent Ronald Reagan (shucks, pardner) in the 1984 U.S. Election)

There are several images of the Childhood Development Center in CBI archives, but none that show an alternate exterior or give a hint as to its location. Bob Price made a brief mention of it and the Northside plant in an Oral Interview in 2009 …

“… Northside Minneapolis. It involved the community where the plant was going to be. One of things that evolved out of that was sort of humorous. There was to be a bail bondsman, who was on duty every Monday morning to help get the employees (laughter), well, those who needed it, out of jail. But there was also a very visionary childcare center; employee childcare center. We employed single mothers, they could bring their children, their infants, for the childcare center. It was a nationally recognized center”.  


Robert M Price, "Building The Control Data Legacy. The Career of Robert M Price", edited by Tom Misa

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