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"Here, we have two levels."Dolan got a kick out of the reference to the bay of windows that face the river, because they were billed almost 100 years ago as "the latest in solar technology," he said.
Throughout this Off Limits exercise, I've been treated to some truly great river views.
At one time, part of her job was to pay workers' union dues for 20 different unions.
When it was all over, a few groups of friends vowed to stay in touch, and many have, she said."There were a lot of good friends, so it was hard," she said of the closings. We would make dinner together, and we had potlucks all the time. Instead of glaze, they might try cinnamon or something, and we were the guinea pigs."Miller was so fond of her career at Hostess, she still uses her employee ID number, 1259, in her email address."They went in sequence, and a friend of mine is number 856," she said.
The roof of the Davenport Bank Building gave the impression I could see the whole Quad-Cities.
For instance, the south-facing facade of Hostess — the one that faces River Drive — once had 69 windows in it."It seems like any time we had windows, they bricked them in," Miller said. All 69 windows are to be restored, and more glass will round the corner to the west, simulating the factory's original appearance.In fact, it's peculiar that so many people refer to the old Hostess plant in Davenport as "the Twinkie factory," because Twinkies were never made there. She worked in the office for 44 years and knows how things worked and how it looked.The plant on River Drive was a distribution center for the full line of Hostess snacks, but production primarily was Wonder Bread, not Twinkies. Our tour guide was Dan Dolan (and son, Kevin), the builder and developer who soon will transform the building into 48 riverfront apartments.Between Miller and the Dolans, we were able to simultaneously peer into the past and peek into the future.Very little proof remains that 620,000 pounds of bread and bun dough was made every week inside the three-story building that's been sitting between Oneida and Carey avenues for 90 years. And, in the dark, your mind can trick you into thinking you hear the whisper of history, the hiss of an oven or the thundering roll of a pallet jack against a wooden floor.