Six historic stone medallions on the front of the Star Tribune headquarters will be removed beginning today.
Developer Ryan Cos. began steps to remove the medallions at 425 Portland Av., a precursor to the 95-year-old building's demolition. The demo will make way for Ryan's $400 million mixed-use development slated for land in downtown Minneapolis once owned by the media company. The company has not publicly announced where it will move, but the relocation is expected next year.
The removal of the medallions complies with the Minneapolis City Council’s requirements tied to Ryan’s demolition permit of a "historic resource." City Council placed a condition on the permit that calls for the medallions to be removed and re-installed elsewhere, and a qualified historian be commissioned to prepare a photo and narrative history of the building.
Ryan said the medallion removal is the first step in preparing the building for demolition.
The medallions were added during an expansion in 1947, which doubled the size of the building. The six medallions added to facade, representing the major industries of Minnesota at the time. The facade was designed in the unique Streamline Moderne style by Minneapolis architects Larson & McLaren.
“We are excited to be moving ahead with the necessary steps to make way for a new urban park,” said Rick Collins, Ryan’s Vice President of Development, in a statement. “This park will serve as a centerpiece for the Downtown East neighborhood as well as an important catalyst for continued redevelopment of the area.”
It's unclear how long the removal process will take "due to lack of original detailed plans on the building’s construction and the care required to keep the medallions intact," the firm said. Once removed, Ryan will store the medallions while the city’s Department of Community Planning and Economic Development approves plans for their re-use. A determination on how the stone "Star and Tribune" stone lettering on the front of the building will be removed from the front façade will take place after Ryan official evaluate how the letters were attached to the building.
The historic narrative, including photos, will be developed by Preservation Design Works LLC, and should be completed by May 1, 2014. Once completed, the report will be made available to the public.