Streetscapes is a column devoted to Minnesota architecture. Writers critique, explore and explain the built environment, from brand-new buildings to revered older ones.
Since 1919, Minneapolis Planning Commission has looked to the future.
In 1957, city leaders and planners laid out a vision for Minneapolis in 1967. How much of it came true?
In its prime, Oak Lake Park featured Victorian residential architecture set amid parks, artificial ponds and tree-lined streets.
At the time it was built, the Northstar Center embodied the hope of urban vitality.
Railroad magnate James J. Hill and Archbishop John Ireland asked famed architect Cass Gilbert to design seminary dorm.
The Crystal Court in the IDS Center is getting its first upgrade since 1998.
The third home of the First Free (also known as Free Will) Baptist Church was a rare gem.
Over the past 10 years, the state's historic tax credit has been applied to more than 100 projects all over Minnesota.
Roger Bond Martin, a founder of the U's landscape architecture program, emphasized collaboration.
But the Surf is historic for more than that fateful concert on a frigid night in 1959.
The best designs were awarded to six firms for 10 commercial, residential, civic, academic and religious projects.
Built during the City Beautiful movement, the 1904 Cream of Wheat factory was a stunner.
The new Public Service Building in Minneapolis is designed to complement the surrounding buildings.
Walter Norton and Clifford Peel left an extensive collection of commercial photography.
Dollar General says DGX store at 5th and Nicollet is aimed at "metropolitan" customers.
The live/work model isn't new. It's as old as the streetcar system in the Twin Cities.
Buildings often went through multiple uses in 19th-century Minneapolis. The Crocker-Leland rink was no exception.
Doming Nicollet Mall? Metal trees on Hennepin Avenue? Those are just some of the ill-conceived proposals that fortunately never came to fruition.
Developers are turning to wood for its versatility and sustainability.
Ed Baker's drawings and models of past projects give us a glimpse of what might have been.
A grassroots effort fought a plan to raze modest "Joe Sixpack" houses on Milwaukee Avenue that dated to the 1890s.
At least 300 small buildings have disappeared from downtown Minneapolis since 1950. Here's just one worth mourning.
The pandemic hasn't stopped construction in downtown Minneapolis, where the skyline continues to change.
Because of safety concerns, ease and aesthetics, outdoor dining has caught on in Minnesota.
Back when cars were things of wonder, the showrooms boasted architectural elegance.
Minnesota's small-town downtowns have a future, but it won't look like past.
It's time to take a hard look at who has the power to shape our environment today.
Now Minnesota's "front porch," the Capitol Mall was home to mix of Victorian dwellings.
A drive along the Great River Road follows the Mississippi from the past to the present.
How can we facilitate a wider range of uses for our roads?
While they're getting little use now, these essential downtown connectors will eventually come back to life.
Well-located and managed by savvy owners, a few powerhouse malls continue to evolve and thrive.
Advancements in engineering transformed the technology, scale and design of parking structures.
More than 30 buildings, many dating to the 1880s or earlier, had to be torn down or have their front lopped off 20 feet.
City sidewalks aren't the real measure of how vacant Minneapolis is right now.
Reviving the once-busy thoroughfare can help create a more vibrant, connected city.
Analysis: We need new kinds of development that will eliminate disparities, increase affordability, and generate jobs.
With the addition of a grocery store, Southdale moves one step closer to its original vision as a community hub.
A few humble street corners show us how to create a "patio culture" year-round.
For many decades, the central core was a great architectural hodgepodge, with many blocks containing buildings in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.
A 1960s Dinkytown library — by Minnesota Modernist architect Ralph Rapson — gleams anew after an $11.6 million restoration.
Stage & Arts
Some of our landmark buildings aren't so unique. Others are ours alone.
Built in 1926, Minneapolis hotel lost to Christmas fire slipped into second-tier status after a decade or two.
Stage & Arts
The American Institute of Architects Minnesota honored projects ranging from a wayside rest stop to a lakeside cabin to a college arts complex.
Midcentury fires in downtown St. Paul removed many Victorian structures.
Two St. Paul gems, decked out for the holidays, offer a look at Christmases past.
The demolition of the rather ordinary Public Service Center in Minneapolis will leave a gap in the city scape.
Two years after a fatal explosion, the design for the rejuvenated campus reaches toward the future.
Photos, murals and other collections make the skyways into mini-museums.
Residential hotels and rooming houses in Minneapolis and St. Paul offered alternatives to houses and apartments.
A panoramic photo of the city taken on a large-format camera in 1907 offers an incredible time capsule. "It reveals things that essentially nobody ever saw before. It's so immersive."
With its balconies, porches, dormers and gingerbread trim, this Park Avenue mansion in Minneapolis was the giddiest of them all.
In the early 1900s, there was talk of building one. It would have put its mark on the metro.
Stage & Arts
An iconic sanctuary survived an 1888 fire and a 1904 tornado only to burn down years later.
Stage & Arts
A renovation has restored the downtown gem's singular looks while making it accessible to all.