Building Community in the Twin Cities’ Suburbs

City Terrain, Midwest, Urbanism
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
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(Chapendra via Flickr)

(Chapendra via Flickr)

The economic hangover of suburban sprawl is well-documented in many U.S. metropolitan areas. But the cultural identity of inner-ring suburbs may too be shifting, as towns like those in Minneapolis’ suburbs attempt to restore a sense of community. The Star-Tribune reports on two such towns, north suburban Columbia Heights and Brooklyn Park, that are taking a new approach to neighborhood building — call it reaching across the white-picket fence.

Columbia Heights is launching a neighborhood association pilot project meant to connect longtime residents with newcomers, who live increasingly in townhouses recently built on former industrial sites in the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

SCAPE, Rogers Marvel to Design Water Works Park in Minneapolis

City Terrain, Midwest
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Water Works

The new park in Minneapolis will be developed adjacent to St. Anthony Falls, where the city’s milling industry once thrived. (Minneapolis Parks Foundation)

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board have announced that two New York-based firms, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Marvel Architects, will collaborate to design Water Works Park, part of the city’s ongoing RiverFirst project.

Slated for completion in early 2014, Water Works Park will be incorporated into the existing Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park above St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall along the Mississippi River and an important part of Minneapolis’ history. The park already draws 1.6 million visitors each year, a number that officials expect to increase with the addition of the year-round, multi-use park.

Continue reading after the jump.

Modern House by Romaldo Giurgola Poised for Teardown in the Twin Cities

Midwest, Preservation
Monday, June 17, 2013
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Wayzata, Minnesota home designed by Romaldo Giurgola (Courtesy NeighborCity.com)

Wayzata, Minnesota home designed by Romaldo Giurgola (Courtesy NeighborCity.com)

The fate of an 8,500-square-foot house designed in 1970 by architect Romaldo Giurgola in Wayzata, Minnesota hangs in the balance following  what the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported as 2012’s priciest single-family housing deal in the Twin Cities. Just months after paying $10 million for the lakefront property, the new owner, Cargill heir Donald C. MacMillan, has presented plans that could include the building’s demolition.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minneapolis, Cycling City: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

National
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Cyclists and Frank Gehry. (Grant Smith)

Cyclists and Frank Gehry. (Grant Smith)

[ Editor’s Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

We liked Minneapolis—it ended our sojourn in the wilderness of South Dakota, we saw some nice things, met a lot of cool people and the biking there is great!

On our journey plan we had highlighted the fact that the city was host to a bevy of starchitects—Herzog and de Meuron with the 2005 Walker Art Gallery extension, Jean Nouvel with the Guthrie Theater of 2006, and Frank Gehry at the Weisman Museum which opened in 2011.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minneapolis’ Embattled Peavey Plaza Lands on National Register

Midwest
Monday, January 21, 2013
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Peavey Plaza's fountains have fallen into disrepair.

Peavey Plaza’s fountains have fallen into disrepair. (Keri Pickett)

Peavey Plaza, downtown Minneapolis’ celebrated modernist square completed in 1975, fell into disrepair—two of its three iconic fountains are no longer operational, and its sunken “garden rooms” have helped harbor illegal activity. Landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg’s plaza became the focus of a high-profile preservation battle two years ago, with The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) leading the charge to rehabilitate Peavey and city officials pushing for demolition.

Now TCLF has announced the plaza has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The “park plaza” style Friedberg forged is evident in Peavey’s blend of hard concrete squares and American-style green spaces. It joins 88,000 sites of architectural heritage on the list, only 2,500 of which have significance in landscape architecture.

Preservationists sued the city last year to contest city council’s claim that there were “no reasonable alternatives” to demolition, hoping to win protection under Minnesota’s Environmental Rights Act.

Minnesota Taps HKS for New Vikings Stadium

Midwest
Monday, October 1, 2012
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An image from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, submitted as part of its proposal for the new Vikings stadium contract. (Courtesy HKS Sports & Entertainment Group)

An image from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, submitted as part of its proposal for the new Vikings stadium contract. (Courtesy HKS Sports & Entertainment Group)

Twin Cities sports fans may be most excited about Sunday’s victory on the field, but a twinge of that satisfaction could be due to the team’s new stadium. Minnesota’s Sports Facilities Authority chose HKS architects to design a new home for the NFL’s Vikings.

HKS also designed Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium in their home base of Dallas—two of the most high-profile NFL construction projects in recent memory. A decision on the lead contractor for the project has yet to come down, but news of the $975 million stadium’s designer is the latest announcement in a long and at-times contentious political process that subsidizes professional sports in Minneapolis.

Face-painted fans turned out to city council meetings as the deal cleared hurdles. With respected stadium architects on board, supporters may anticipate validation for their use of public funds. Those opposed maintain only time will tell, no matter the designer.

Spiritual Construction: Minneapolis Cemetery Blends Old and New

Midwest
Monday, August 13, 2012
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The Garden Mausoleum at Lakewood Cemetery. (Image courtesy Paul Crosby.)

The Garden Mausoleum at Lakewood Cemetery. (Image courtesy Paul Crosby.)

When a bucolic cemetery in Minneapolis began to near capacity, its owners worried a large expansion might dampen the landscape’s pastoral charm.

Despite its comparatively large footprint, the 24,500-square-foot Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis’ Lakewood Cemetery is in harmony with the existing mausoleum and chapel that it sits between, as if in meditation. The 141-year-old non-sectarian cemetery occupies 250 acres in the city’s Uptown neighborhood.

Continue reading after the jump.

Adaptive Reuse, Aisle 7: How An Empty Big Box Can Give Rise to Community

THE MCALLEN MAIN LIBRARY, ONCE A WALMART. (IMAGE COURTESY MEYER SCHERER & ROCKCASTLE)

THE MCALLEN MAIN LIBRARY, ONCE A WALMART. (IMAGE COURTESY MEYER SCHERER & ROCKCASTLE)

An average Walmart tops 100,000 square feet. With more than 600 stores nationwide, the company has a mighty footprint. And when a store goes under, it can be somewhat of a crater in the local real estate market.

One Walmart in McAllen, Texas—about 15 miles from the Mexican border—got a major facelift from Minneapolis-based Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, who also have an office in Marysville, Md. They won an ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award for their work converting the defunct big box store into a library.

Continue reading after the jump.

Vikings Commit to Minneapolis…If They Get A New Stadium

Midwest
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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It’s a story that’s been told in city after city. If you build it, they won’t leave. Professional sports teams hold cities hostage, playing on the loyalty of fans to get expensive, taxpayer-funded facilities, while displaying little civic loyalty of their own. Anyway! In Minneapolis, the Vikings have said they won’t decamp for Los Angeles if the city and state agree to help build a new $975 million stadium on the site of the Metrodome, according to the Star-Tribune.

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Bridge 5721: Historic Restoration and Relocation

Fabrikator
Friday, January 27, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
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The 3-D laser scan allowed engineers to look at the bridge even after it was dismantled (O.N.E.)

Laser scanning technology helped a Minnesota bridge find its third home

One of 24 historic bridges chosen for preservation by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Bridge 5721 is one of the state’s only remaining wrought iron bridge structures. The bridge was originally built to carry pedestrians over a river in Sauk Center, Minnesota, in 1870, before modern steel production methods had become available. In 1937, the bridge was disassembled and moved to span the Little Fork River near the town of Silverdale. But more than two years ago, the structure began its journey to a third incarnation, this time as an equestrian and pedestrian bridge for the Gateway Trail in the town of Stillwater, near Minneapolis. Because of the bridge’s provenance and the desire to keep its wrought iron parts intact, the Minnesota DOT worked with new owner Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and structural engineers at HNTB and Olson & Nesvold Engineers (O.N.E.) to collect crucial data for the rehabilitation using new 3-D laser scanning technology.
Continue reading after the jump.

Minneapolis Riverfront Redesign Team Selected

Midwest, Newsletter
Friday, February 11, 2011
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(Courtesy TLS/KVA)

(Courtesy TLS/KVA)

The Berkeley, California and Boston-based team of Tom Leader Studio and Kennedy & Violich Architecture has won a competition for the potential redevelopment 5.5 miles of the Minneapolis Riverfront. Their proposal, called RiverFIRST bested those by rivals Ken Smith, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, and Turenscape, and includes constructed wetlands for stormwater management, manmade islands for habitat, new districts for green industry among other features.

While no specific segment of the plan has yet been identified for development, the team will be given a commission by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

A project video and gallery await after the jump.

Metrodome Roof Gets Remixed

Midwest
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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We told you yesterday about the sad state of Minnesota’s snowy Metrodome. Today the deflated dome gets some funk, courtesy of University of Minnesota arch school grad Brice Aarrestad. (Insert your own ‘raise the roof’ joke here.)

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