Streetscapes

Streetscapes is a column devoted to Minnesota architecture. Writers critique, explore and explain the built environment, from brand-new buildings to revered older ones.


Precursor to Mpls.' famed Metropolitan Building had dazzling inner court — and bad karma

E. Townsend Mix's Temple Court was a design warmup to Minneapolis' majestic Metropolitan.


On Weisman's 25th birthday, Minn. architect explains how famous building took shape + Photo Gallery

The University of Minnesota's Frank Gehry-designed art museum is marking its quarter-century birthday this month.


10-ton sculpture ready to swoop into Nicollet Mall

"Nimbus," a massive halo-like steel sculpture, will be the crowning touch of the remake of Nicollet Mall.


How the shape of windows tells the history of Twin Cities architecture + Photo Gallery

Windows are more than just a means to bring in light and air; they're a way to read the style and technology of an era.


Many Minnesota small towns boast small 'beauty spot' parks of yesteryear

Built in small towns around the state, they were designed to spark civic pride and growth.


5 public places to discover the work of famed Minnesota artist Siah Armajani

Take a weekend field trip to explore public work by the artist behind the Sculpture Garden walking bridge.


Famed Calder sculpture once graced Nicollet Mall. Can't it return to its home?

A sculpture by Alexander Calder, now in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, originally was in downtown Minneapolis. It had been a victim of the newfangled skyway at the time.


When big downtown Minneapolis buildings change names, it can be a confusing mess

Some have stood the test of time. Others have changed so many times we can't keep track.


North Minneapolis was once home to one of the world's most unique church buildings + Photo Gallery

The pastor of a modest Minneapolis parish helped create a unique, cosmopolitan church in north Minneapolis.


Why Twin Cities walk signals and garage alerts should have Minnesota accents

Talking walk signals and parking garage alerts add to the urban cacophony. At least they could speak Minnesotan.


Parkway Theater reopens in south Minneapolis with a much-needed face-lift + Photo Gallery

The 1940s-era neighborhood theater at 48th and Chicago has opened with a new mix of programming following a makeover.


Why the Minnesota State Fair could be a template for our future cities

We've got a model of the New Urbanism design movement right here in the Twin Cities: It's called the Minnesota State Fair.


St. Paul's Grand Arcade is out of sight, but not gone + Photo Gallery

One of downtown St. Paul's most intriguing lost buildings is the elaborate mixed-use structure also known as the Lowry Arcade.


How healthy is your office? New wellness standards promote worker well-being

New wellness standards for buildings include everything from indoor air quality to snack foods.


1880s Minneapolis skyline boasted Victorian excess and modern restraint

The early Minneapolis skyline boasted two wildly different style of buildings by the same architectural firm.


Nicollet Mall deserved better than its underwhelming $50M remake + Photo Gallery

The new Nicollet Mall is a leafier, artsier improvement over its dreary predecessor. But this is all that $50 million buys?


New plan for Minneapolis calls for more density, which can be good — and bad

A look at Lake Street shows that there's a difference between good and bad density.


How a corner gas station can make a Twin Cities neighborhood vibrant

Corner gas stations can invite visitors to linger, and hopefully enjoy an urban neighborhood.


Minneapolis once had a chance to be the Paris of the Plains

If the city had adopted a 1917 plan, it would have looked like the City of Light, with diagonal boulevards and roundabouts.


Two little-known plazas in Minneapolis are examples of great urban design

You might not even notice these two Minneapolis plazas, but they're noteworthy open urban spaces.


Midcentury 'face-lifts' put Moderne facades on historic Twin Cities buildings

Many classical buildings in the Twin Cities got modern face-lifts, whether they needed them or not.


How to fix ugly suburban intersections in the Twin Cities

By adapting modern design trends, an intersection near Southdale gets a much needed update.


1888 Masonic Temple's 'joyful' past influences Cowles choreographer

Choreographer Sally Rousse's new show is both tribute and bridge to the Cowles Center.


5 reasons Downtown East works (hint: it's not because the buildings look cool)

Well-planned, if unremarkable, buildings have helped create a vibrant new neighborhood.


Most hated bridge in Minneapolis was an ugly, deadly road hazard

A brief history of "Old Man Viaduct," which lasted a century.