The Buhler-Miag Corp.was a Swiss-owned company that manufactured pneumatic handling equipment for food processers and bulk conveying systems. It is listed at this address in 1964 and 1971 business supplements published by the St. Louis Park Sun newspaper.
This address appeared to be quite far north and west of present-day St. Louis Park, so we put out a call for clarification. Keith Meland, former city councilman and frequent contributor, helped us out. Here is his explanation:
Buhler-Miag was deliberately located across Wayzata Blvd. from its largest US customer, General Mills. It supplied proprietary products to the milling industry including IMCO. It made to-order custom food shaping products like those used to form Bugles, Whistles and Daisys. Also the various Chex products which are now Big G but were formerly Ralston, later Ralston Purina.
The original alignment of Wayzata Blvd., when it was called Superior Blvd., ran between McCarthy’s Cafe and the Boulevard Cafe. McCarthy’s was in SLP and the Boulevard was in GV. The old alignment was in a straight line and would pick up and run west from Winnetka Ave about a block or so west of the Holiday Station in SLP and become GV running at the time to the north and west city limit of SLP. Buhler was south of that alignment in SLP. Eventually, when 394 was constructed, all the right of way in SLP was taken. The ROW in GV was later returned to GV as not needed. The car dealers are in GV and the residential area to the south is all SLP. I believe SLP acquired some land from GV to the north side of the Westwood Hills Nature Center so that it could not be encroached upon. This was done after the completion of 394 in that area c. 1984-85.
When 394 was proposed in ’67 or ’68, County Road 18 (now State 169) ended in GV at Mendelssohn Road. When it was built to 494, 394 was still in design. Ultimately more land was taken in SLP for the interchange ROW. The SE corner was taken because of topological problems on the SW corner and development in the NE and NW quadrants – General Mills and Shelard, primarily. My guess is that SLP lost 50 to 100 acres of undeveloped land to ROW including the Buhler property. It helps to remember that only the NE quadrant was not SLP.
In 1964 at 1971, Buhler indicated that it had 775 employees, but probably all but 50 were in Uzwill, Switzerland where the company still has its HQ. Today world-wide Buhler has about 8,000 employees. They still employ about 200 in Plymouth.
Thanks, Keith! The northern border of St. Louis Park is not an easy thing to track and understand, so we appreciate your knowledge!
Joe Hautman did some digging. He says: “I am attaching an aerial photo from 1971 in which the Buhler building is circled. It was on Hwy. 12 (now 394). The north-south highway on the left is Co. Rd. 18 ( now 169 ), and the building to the east of Buhler is the Carriage House motel and bowling alley, which must have provided some of the inspiration for the bowling scenes in the Coen Brothers’ movie ‘The Big Lebowski.’ I lived on Flag avenue toward the lower left side of the photo near where the Coen brothers grew up. My brothers and I used to ‘borrow’ wooden pallets that were piled behind the Buhler building and use them to make forts in the woods. I believe that Buhler still has a facility in Plymouth near Xenium and 12th Ave N.”
Thanks, Joe! Here’s the aerial: