When touring the spectacular fjord country of Norway in May, our group was taken by the beauty of the architecture, whether in Oslo, Bergen, or the small villages along the coast reaching north to the Arctic Circle. The Norwegians have an eye and a concern for good architecture. They have demanded quality architecture in the permitting process.

In Minneapolis, we are proud of our Philip Johnson IDS Tower, Cesar Pelli’s Wells Fargo Center and Central Library, and Minoru Yamasaki’s ING 20 Washington. Unfortunately we are not lacking in eye-bruising buildings, among them RiverWest, River Gate, the Churchill and Wilson Park Tower. Now 222 Hennepin, close to completion, may add to this list.

Today, Minneapolis is celebrating plans for a $400 million office, residential and retail development reaching out from the $975 million Vikings stadium. On the Powers Store site at 400 Nicollet, a 26-story, $100 million luxury apartment is rising. Adjacent, plans are in process for a 30-story apartment tower and a new campus for Xcel Energy. Are the architectural firms and the renderings exciting? The new structures will be our graceful neighbors for 100 years. Let’s get it right.