Withering Glance: Three cheers for Metrodome teardown

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 15, 2012 - 3:40 PM

Metrodome site - location of future NFL Vikings Stadium.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Dml - Star Tribune

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Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

RN: I don't know about you, but I'm already composing the Evite for my Metrodome demolition party, even though the big event is probably still a few football seasons away. They can't get rid of that thing fast enough.

CP: That muffin-top eyesore is no pal of mine, either. And it has not exactly been an "economic engine," has it? No offense to Hubert's.

RN: None taken, I'm sure. The Dome might be the Twin Cities' ugliest edifice, and that's saying something. Good riddance.

CP: The new Vikings playhouse has a high hurdle, now that we have such a cool Twins ballpark on the other side of downtown. I see that Populous, the firm that did Target Field, the X and the TCF Bank Stadium, is on the list of prospective architects for Vikingdale.

RN: The Purple People Eaters' nearly $1 billion abode is also kicking off a serious renovation of Target Center, first-runner-up in the Most Hideous Building in the Twin Cities contest. It's a taxpayer-funded architectural twofer.

CP: The Gods of Urban Design have smiled. Early drawings of what $150 million would do to Target Center are not all that reassuring, however. Giving an ugly duck a glassy, cantilevered corner doesn't really transform the fowl.

RN: Well, we've only seen that one rendering. I'm hopeful. At this point, hanging potted geraniums would be a vast improvement. I'm also psyched to see so many apartment buildings under construction in and around downtown Minneapolis.

CP: Somebody's going to have to buy their groceries at the new urban Lunds and the on-its-way Whole Foods.

RN: By the way, I adore that Lunds. You were saying?

CP: When you made me tour that fascinating display of drawings by various architects at the IDS Crystal Court recently, I saw maybe one new downtown rental-housing project that was not "meh."

RN: Au contraire. The conversion of that beautiful 1920s Loring Park office building into apartments looks impressive, as does a similar remake of the landmark Soo Line Building. The 27-story luxury apartment tower going up at 5th and Nicollet is another reason to be bullish on downtown's future, as is the neighboring nine-story office building for Xcel Energy that's going to replace what is now a hideous parking ramp. I could go on.

CP: Please, no.

RN: Duluth starchitect David Salmela has a high-profile Minneapolis commission, a production facility and scoop shop on Gold Medal Park for St. Paul's Izzy's Ice Cream. I can taste the salted caramel already.

CP: "Ricky and the Ice Cream Factory." Sounds like a new musical at Children's Theatre.

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib

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