What happened: On March 11, 1988, IDS canceled plans for a second tower on Nicollet Mall.

For months, Minneapolitans had heard about IDS 2, a new project designed to boost the fortunes of downtown and the mall. In 1972, IDS’ signature building had transformed downtown and given Minneapolis a big-city look. The new project would change the skyline yet again.

Because it would be 66 stories tall. Eleven more than the original IDS.


Why it mattered: The architect of the proposed tower was Cesar Pelli, whose firm was also designing the Norwest Tower (now the Wells Fargo Tower) at 90 S. 7th St., a 55-story skyscraper completed in 1989.

Whether Pelli would have echoed the Norwest’s design in IDS 2 or provided something quite different, chances are good the new building would have resembled his other late-’80s work — a classic stone skyscraper that drew inspiration from the Manhattan of the 1930s. The skyline would have been transformed, and most likely for the better.

But we won’t know for sure. The design was never released to the public.


What happened next: The Penneys block at 6th and Nicollet was filled by the second phase of Gaviidae Center, a retail and office complex that ignored the sleek retro styling of Pelli’s Norwest Tower.

On its own, Norwest Tower is an attractive structure, but you can’t help wondering what IDS 2 might have looked like.

And whether anyone will ever dare to build higher than the IDS.