About Historically Inclined

Historically Inclined is where we explore and celebrate the way it was, one story at a time.

The primary focus is sports history with a sprinkling of outdoor life, architecture, military history and vintage Americana. Occasionally, Historically Inclined may also host an opinion piece or a glimpse into the present, usually within the context of how things used to be better, at least in the world of sports.

Jayson Hron is the founder, researcher and author.

3 thoughts on “About Historically Inclined

  1. Congratulations on the launching of this exciting new endeavor!!!! I have added this site to my Google Reader where every new post you make will be brought to my attention immediately. I’m excited about your unique look at the “world that was” and I look forward to your articles. Wishing you all the very best!

  2. War and golf – two of my favorite subjects. I really liked the way you linked them here. BTW – if the USGA had granted National Championship status to the Hale America Open, Ben Hogan would have been the only golfer to win five US Opens.

  3. I found your Bierman Field article through MinnPost. The architect for Bierman was Val Michelson of Val Michelson and Associates, long located in the Griggs Midway building at Fairview and University. I worked for Val, who was also a long-time professor at the School of Architecture at the U of M, from 1974 to 1986. I was not involved with the Bierman field work.

    Val came to Minnesota from Marcel Breuer’s office in Connecticut to oversee the work on the church at St John’s University. (Breuer is known as one of the formost practitioners of “brutalist” design.) Val’s teaching specialty at the University was structure and form in architecture. He closed his office about 1992, and passed away in 2006 at age 90.

    Val Michelson’s background was very interesting. He was born and grew up in the Soviet Union. In 1941, just as he was finishing his studies in architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad (now, again, St Petersburg), Germany invaded Russia. He never finished his studies. He was immediately drafted and sent to the front, where he was captured by, and then escaped from, the Germans. He survived the war behind the German lines and ended up as one of the “displaced persons” when the war ended. He had been married and had a young son in Lenningrad, but lost contact with them as a result of the war. They assumed he had died at the front, and he assumed they had died in the siege of Lennngrad.

    Val migrated to the US, and attended Columbia University in New York, where he earned a Masters degree in architecture.He worked for Breuer in the 1950’s, coming to Minnesota for the St John’s commission. Staying in Minnesota after the completion of the St John’s work, he had a small, but productive office in Minnesota. Bierman was a small project for his office and was done on a very meager budget. Some of his better known works are the Saint Paul Priory in Maplewood, and most of the newer buildings at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. His “Structure and Form” class was a required course at the University for a generation of architecture students.

    Val also served as architectural consultant to the Capitol Area Architecture and Planning Board in St Paul, where he provided the vision to rebuild the Interstate 94 bridges in a style that better fit the Beaux Arts style of the capitol approach and buildings.

    His final years were spent reunited with his son from Leningrad, who emigrated to the US after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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