Architects seek public opinion on Nicollet Mall renovation

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 27, 2013 - 7:16 PM
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JCFO 02 rendering of Nicollet design by James Corner Field Operations of New York.

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The public is invited to weigh in on the proposed renovation of Minnesota’s Main Street: Nicollet Mall.

An event is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Nicollet Mall and 11th Street (don’t worry, it’s in a heated tent). Representatives from the New York-based architectural firm James Corner Field Operations will be on hand to get some feedback about the project and present interactive displays that showcase ideas for the mall.

If you can’t make it, but still want your voice heard, take a survey here: www.nicolletmallproject.com.

The city of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Downtown Council held an international design competition to glean ideas for the mall, which hasn’t been renovated in at least 30 years. Three finalists presented their visions for the mall at a public event at the Guthrie Theater on Sept. 17, and James Corner’s firm emerged the winner.

The Corner team designed the acclaimed High Line public park in Manhattan, among other high-profile projects across the country.

The 12-block mall is home to three Fortune 500 companies (Target U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo), some 140,000 employees and more than 34 million square feet of office space.

Corner’s vision, called Nicollet Walk, stretches from Grant Street to Washington Avenue and features pathways for bike traffic, wooded groves, reflective undersides to skyways, multiuse bus shelters with newsstands and coffee bars, a fire pit and raised stages for impromptu musical and theatrical performances.

The competition did not address how the project will be funded — the city envisions a $20 million contribution through a state bonding bill, with private businesses contributing the rest through an assessment fee.

Janet Moore

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