The Weatherball

Weird Nicollet Tour, Minneapolis

The Weatherball

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, United States

Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District


90 S 7th Street, Location of Current Wells Fargo Building

Here on 7th Street, between Nicollet and Marquette were once two famous Minneapolis buildings. The first, the Northwestern National Bank (later Norwest bank, then Wells Fargo bank), was on Marquette Street and boasted a unique architectural feature: It was called the weatherball and was installed on the top of the bank in 1949. The idea was simple: it was a giant ball perched 157-feet high over the building and would light up in different ways depending on the weather.

The weatherball became such an icon that the bank even incorporated it into its advertising and logo for a time. Their television jingle became famous, and featured an animated ball bouncing along to the words

"When the weather ball is glowing red, warmer weather’s just ahead
When the weather ball is shining white, colder weather is in sight
When the weather ball is wearing green, no changes are foreseen
Colors blinking by night and day, mean precipitation’s on the way"

The ball was moved before the bank building was demolished, dismantled and stored at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Sadly for climate oddity preservationists, the weatherball was never restored and, in 2000, it was quietly scrapped, though a facsimile can be found elsewhere today on Nicollet on top of the WCCO building.


This point of interest is part of the tour: Weird Nicollet Tour, Minneapolis


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