A farmers market, a beach and a modern courtyard are among those selected as the most noteworthy places in the Twin Cities. A port-a-potty in Wayzata did not make the cut.
The Sensible Land Use Coalition announced five winners of its Great Places award Wednesday. The award recognizes places open to the public in the seven-county metro area that are memorable, transformational and elevate function to art.
The IDS Crystal Court, Wirth Beach, Urban Flower Field in St. Paul, the St. Paul Farmers Market and the Midtown Greenway won the award. Each will be featured on the coalition’s website and in other promotional material.
“We want people to start recognizing these great places, and by celebrating them to give a message to the development community that people appreciate great places and that there is economic value in them,” said Lucy Thompson, St. Paul’s chief city planner and a member of the steering committee for the award, in an interview last week.
A fabric-wrapped biffy, accentuated with a hanging flowerpot, was one of the nominees, as was Hopkins’ Mainstreet and the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights.
The Sensible Land Use Coalition, an Excelsior-based nonprofit, includes city planners, designers, lawyers, public-works officials and commercial developers. The group’s goal is to develop consensus approaches to land use and development that will meet the broad needs of society.
Though the coalition has been around for more than 35 years, the awards are in their second year. The jury choosing the winners included architects, artists and developers.
Last year’s winners included the Piazza on the Mall, Midtown Global Market and the Loppet, Minneapolis; Rice Park and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, St. Paul; and Heart of the City, Burnsville.