Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I've yet to do a downtown Minneapolis photo thread (which is long overdue), yesterday evening I thought it might be fun to start a new collection highlighting the city's core.

Minneapolis is sometimes referred to as the "First City of the West", and the central business district consists of a mish-mash of postmodern, brutalist, and older architecture on wide streets which forms a marked contrast to it's more historic eastern twin St. Paul.

Downtown is often criticized for being sterile, devoid of greenery, and lacking in street-level foot traffic. All three of these things are at least partly attributed to the skyway system, a series of elevated walkways that connect 69 city blocks stretching seven miles. Because of the skyways, many retailers, restaurants, and other services are located one floor above the street in each building connected, thus creating an illusion of inactivity below. These climate-controlled "gerbil tubes" are considered by many a huge asset to the city in our bitter-cold winters, but also an extraordinary blight to downtown street life.

Over the last 10 years, the city has slowly begun to fill in empty parking lots with office and residential developments, although there's still a long way to go before all of them are filled. A quickly-growing residential population is bringing new changes and developments to downtown that not long ago would have been considered completely infeasible, so it's an exciting time to watch downtown evolve and improve.

This collection of photos is still vastly incomplete, and I'm still planning to add some people shots, so I'll probably be making amendments in the future as I add more.































































































 

·
Premium Member
Seattle
Joined
·
2,871 Posts
Great Thread! Minneapolis is such a great city, and underrated in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Since I've yet to do a downtown Minneapolis photo thread (which is long overdue), yesterday evening I thought it might be fun to start a new collection highlighting the city's core.
Really enjoyed this! Gives a good feeling of walking around downtown. Thanks!

Makes me very sad that they want to tear down Peavy Plaza. Great thread, though!
Makes me quite sad too. Really thought this one would be worth saving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Maybe it's because it's in the center of a wide angle lens, but Target Field looks almost small in that first photo of it. It's really quite big when you see it up close, or even from the skyway that's off to its side.
Tear down Peavey Plaza? And replace it with...what? That would be a huge mistake. It's one of the few green areas in downtown Mpls. I've always enjoyed its fountains.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,596 Posts
I've been meaning to comment on this for some time... but, I can't help but notice how clean, beautiful, and modern downtown Minneapolis is. It looks to me like there's a lot of retail business (shopping) downtown, as was the case back in the 1970s, when the Mary Tyler Moore show's opening credits were filmed in Minneapolis. ;) Great pictures!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the nice comments, everyone!

Nice pictures. Minneapolis seems pretty unique with all of those skywalks.
The skyways may be unique, but they aren't without their problems. They aren't publicly owned by the city, so some of them are closed off at odd hours, some are dead-ends, and many aren't located near any elevators/escalators or staircases. It's sometimes an unnecessarily far and disorienting trek if you simply want to access street level.

Many people in the Twin Cities (and virtually anyone who cares about urbanity and street vitality) have a love/hate relationship with the skyways. That being said, I find it difficult to imagine modern Minneapolis without them, and they are a godsend on winter days with our infamously brutal cold.

I've been meaning to comment on this for some time... but, I can't help but notice how clean, beautiful, and modern downtown Minneapolis is. It looks to me like there's a lot of retail business (shopping) downtown, as was the case back in the 1970s, when the Mary Tyler Moore show's opening credits were filmed in Minneapolis. ;) Great pictures!
Thanks, Jaybird! Yes, there's lots of shopping/dining along Nicollet Mall, entertainment along Hennepin Avenue, and some public plazas scattered around, but much of downtown at street level consists of concrete walls, parking ramp entrances, and not much else. As more and more residents start to fill up downtown, I think we'll see a lot of improvement in street presence in the coming years.

The downtown area of Minneapolis has changed dramatically since the years of Mary Tyler Moore, and would probably be virtually unrecognizable to her today! There's actually a Mary Richards statue standing at 7th & Nicollet, where she was shown tossing her hat in the air.

I'm planning on getting more shots of downtown sometime when it's not hot and humid or storming (September?), so stay tuned!
 

·
Mostly Sane
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
Great pix as always, Jennifat! May I add a few?

The ING Building, designed by Minoru Yamasaki:



The Central Library, designed by Cesar Pelli:



Base of the IDS Tower designed by Philip Johnson:



Capella Tower, designed by Pei, Cobb, Freed.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great thread! Did you get a new lense? I'm digging the wide angle action.
Thanks, Som. I did! I've specifically been putting off a downtown Minneapolis thread until I got a wide angle lens, because it's impossible to get anything in one shot otherwise.

I really love the effect, although I'll have to go back to my stock lens for smaller buildings. I couldn't believe how tiny and insignificant wide angle makes anything under 10 stories look. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,549 Posts
some really great shots! Although the new plaza renderings are no where as good as what is existing... I just wish they would fix it up a bit and keep it as is. Such a pretty plaza will be forever lost !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,334 Posts
The city is spectacular looking, what I am wondering though is I would expect to see a lot more people out and about...........where did everyone go? There are such great outdoor spaces but no activities
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The city is spectacular looking, what I am wondering though is I would expect to see a lot more people out and about...........where did everyone go? There are such great outdoor spaces but no activities
Thanks for visiting my thread, testdrive. These photos were taken on a Tuesday evening, which just isn't a busy time of the week for downtown Minneapolis. It was about 95º and humid that day, and even I was having trouble forcing myself to stick around to get the few photos that I did.

Also, like I had mentioned in my introduction to the thread, the skyway system creates an illusion of inactivity downtown. At any given time during the day, there are thousands of people in the skyway system that never have to go outdoors, ever. They can take the elevator down from their office, get lunch, run errands, shop at a department store, grab something from their car, then head back to the office without ever once stepping foot outside.

Maybe if I ever have a Thursday afternoon off from work, I'll head down to Nicollet Mall. The street is packed during farmer's market days. That's when you'll see lots of people!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Great photos!! And I hope they reconsider the plan for Peavey Plaza. Sure it needs renovation, but those renderings of the redesigned plaza look like someone's backyard deck. Nothing like the urban oasis that Peavey Plaza is now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,503 Posts
Just a thought but with the new Peavey Plaza water feature. I realize it's going to be frozen over in the winter for skating but in the summer maybe they could add a small wave machine for a visual addition.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top