It's the ultimate recycling project. A 280,000 pound skyway that once connected two downtown Minneapolis buildings is being saved from the scrap pile. The 84-foot steel and glass structure will be transformed by a team of artists from Vancouver into an interactive art installation in Minneapolis, then head north later this summer where it will become a lakeside home for a young family in Brainerd.
"We are thrilled," said Ben Awes, an architect with CityDesk Studios. He and Bob Ganser acquired the skyway nine years ago and have been searching ever since for a new home for the structure, which is in the process of being prepped for the summer art installation.
After a story in the Star Tribune about the duo's efforts to save the skyway, Awes and Ganser received more than 100 proposals ranging from a nightclub on wheels to a “sweet-ass mobile deer stand, complete with repurposed tank track wheels and a gun turret."
Aimee and Preston Jobe say they've already hired CityDesk to design the project, which will include a to-be-built wing that will connect to the skyway. That L-shaped structure will be the family's full-time home.
"It's like a dream come true," said Aimee Jobe, a photographer who also owns and runs an event center in a reclaimed brick and timber building in a Brainerd rail yard. "I'm a lover of old things and I live to renovate things."
Click here for more information about the Dream the Combine site installation that will be held inside the skyway in Minneapolis from April 18th until early May when the skyway begins its trek north.