What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Peavey Plaza protected for now

Posted by: Maya Rao under Politics and government Updated: April 18, 2012 - 11:30 AM
Peavey Plaza has been saved from demolition – for now.
The Heritage Preservation Commission voted Tuesday evening, 8-1, to deny Minneapolisrequest to raze the downtown plaza and have the city planning director begin a study to determine whether the property should be designated as historic.
That study, which would then be presented to the heritage panel, will take at least six months, according to commission chairman Chad Larsen.
Peavey Plaza is unlikely to be approved for demolition if the study concludes that it is historic, said Larsen.
The commission also voted Tuesday to adopt several findings in Minneapolis’ demolition application, including that the demolition is not necessary to correct dangerous conditions at the plaza, and that the plaza is a “historic resource” eligible to be deemed a city landmark.
City officials have proposed to rebuild the plaza with a new design, saying that the current structure has fallen into disrepair and is costly to maintain. Constructing a new plaza is estimated to cost about $10 million, $2 million of which would come from the state and the rest from private donors.
But some preservations have opposed the idea of demolishing the downtown landmark, designed in the 1970s by New York architect M. Paul Friedberg.
Beth Grosen, the city’s senior project coordinator, said Wednesday morning that her staff was exploring the option of appealing the decision to the City Council, which last fall voted in support of their design for a new plaza.

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