Streetscapes is a column devoted to Minnesota architecture. Writers critique, explore and explain the built environment, from brand-new buildings to revered older ones.
Admire turtles, gargoyles, cherubs and more.
The 1970s "earth-sheltered" building has fans.
With demand for office space weak, it's unlikely Minneapolis or St. Paul will see massive additions to their skylines.
December 23, 2022
People used to flock to downtown Minneapolis for its elaborate holiday displays.
November 4, 2022
The Wells Fargo Operations Center is slated next for replacement.
October 21, 2022
The corner of W. 5th and St. Peter streets has been devoted to the same use for more than 150 years.
October 7, 2022
They have a storied past. They can have a future — if we buy tickets.
September 2, 2022
The parklike greensward of the rendering for the planned remake doesn't match the current stark reality.
August 26, 2022
The fairgrounds offer an eclectic mix of architecture, walkability and storefronts.
August 12, 2022
We went in search of "Inner Search."
August 5, 2022
A long-forgotten dance hall in downtown Minneapolis flustered local guardians of morality.
July 22, 2022
The Armory, the Minneapolis Post Office and a State Fair building are among those still actively used today.
July 8, 2022
The forgotten life of a long-empty parking lot.
July 1, 2022
How the $5 million makeover, five years in the making and a model of sensitivity and ingenuity, came to be.
June 17, 2022
When a promising office tower proposal fizzled in 1970, it set off a dispiriting architectural chain reaction.
May 27, 2022
Review: It's big and it's blue, but it's no threat to the IDS.
May 13, 2022
Two weeks ago,
I asked for help with an answer to this question: When did the top of the Milwaukee Road Depot tower disappear?The…
April 30, 2022
How long has the cupola been gone? And what happened to it?
April 15, 2022
Former New Garden Theater isn't much remembered today, but it had an interesting history that reflected the ups and downs of the theater business in 20th-century Minneapolis.
April 8, 2022
There was a time when billboards were fun, bright, vivacious and artistic.
March 25, 2022
The mania for towers reached its height in the 1880s, when the busy Queen Anne style was in full flower.
March 11, 2022
There's always room for improvement to make Minneapolis a more livable city.
February 25, 2022
The longer it stays, the more graffiti appears.
February 11, 2022
The Dale Street I-94 overpass incorporates pedestrians, bikes and saner car traffic patterns. It's also a tiny step in rebuilding the Rondo neighborhood.
January 21, 2022
Dime stores offered everything from socks to hamburgers.
January 14, 2022
One of the oldest buildings on campus was remade into the home of the university's English department.
December 31, 2021
The multi-block, mixed-use section of the storied avenue was on the edge of downtown.
December 10, 2021
Annual awards recognize sustainability and human scale as well as function and form.
December 3, 2021
After 70 years, the first Minneapolis auditorium gave way to today's Orchestra Hall.
November 12, 2021
The downtown hall, which opened in December 1884, exemplified the busy, colorful Victorian Gothic commercial style.
November 27, 2020
Walter Norton and Clifford Peel left an extensive collection of commercial photography.
November 21, 2020
Dollar General says DGX store at 5th and Nicollet is aimed at "metropolitan" customers.
November 14, 2020
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.
Developers are turning to wood for its versatility and sustainability.
September 25, 2020
Ed Baker's drawings and models of past projects give us a glimpse of what might have been.
Home & Garden
September 18, 2020
A grassroots effort fought a plan to raze modest "Joe Sixpack" houses on Milwaukee Avenue that dated to the 1890s.
September 12, 2020
At least 300 small buildings have disappeared from downtown Minneapolis since 1950. Here's just one worth mourning.
August 29, 2020
The pandemic hasn't stopped construction in downtown Minneapolis, where the skyline continues to change.
August 25, 2020
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.
June 12, 2020
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.
February 28, 2020
With the addition of a grocery store, Southdale moves one step closer to its original vision as a community hub.
February 21, 2020
A few humble street corners show us how to create a "patio culture" year-round.