Two Minneapolis City Council committees brushed aside objections to the renovation of Peavey Plaza, voting Tuesday to send the proposed redesign to the full council Nov. 4.
Under the concept approved by the Transportation and Public Works and Community Development Committees, the plaza will feature a built-in performance space and a video screen flanked by waterfalls. The committees also approved design and consulting agreements for Peavey Plaza, which borders Orchestra Hall and Nicollet Mall.
The city and Minnesota Orchestral Association are collaborating on the revitalization of the plaza to coincide with the Minnesota Orchestra's $45 million renovation of its hall's lobby and exterior. Reconstruction of Peavey Plaza has been estimated to cost between $8 million and $10 million.
On Tuesday, the design team highlighted several of the plaza's current inadequacies, such as a lack of sufficient access for the disabled. The plaza also doesn't comply with modern storm water regulations and concrete touched by water was pointed out to be discolored and eroded.
Tom Oslund, the architect behind the redesign, said the space will now be geared for performance and gathering as opposed to its current focus as primarily a lunch spot.
Oslund revealed the new design for the plaza last week at an open house. The concept design includes several elements such as a street-level promenade with trees, a performance space and a lower level that could be used for lawn bowling or other games.
Some preservationists have voiced concerns that the new design doesn't adequately incorporate signature elements in the plaza's original 1974 design done by New York landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg.
At the meeting, several members of the community were allowed to speak, including those who supported updating the plaza's features as opposed to completely replacing them. But committee members present voted in support of the complete redesign.
"We wanted something that draws people in," said Sandra Colvin Roy, the chair of the transportation and public works committee. She said, she believed the design would do that.