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.


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.


St. Paul's upscale Central Park was doomed by construction of State Capitol

The city was once home to a tony park in an upscale residential neighborhood. Until the Capitol moved in.


In praise of the humble midsize buildings that make the Twin Cities special

Ordinary, midsize buildings don't often draw praise, but they make our cities lively, livable and adaptable.


New podcast wants Minnesotans to be prouder of Twin Cities

"Deep North" seeks to build a better reputation for the Twin Cities.


10 projects that will change the look of the Twin Cities

These projects, in various stages of the completion pipeline, should elevate the Twin Cities' architectural profile in the not-so-distant future.


Irish pubs helped revolutionize the look of Twin Cities bars

Irish pubs played a part in making bars less secretive and warmer, welcoming and connected.


Minneapolis 1920s hotel boasted exotic dancers and Charlie Chaplin

The long-lost National was known for its Dutch-themed restaurant, bohemian clientele -- and its many fires.


Looking for a sign? Golden Valley is selling them

Instead of tossing old street signs, Golden Valley's Historical Society is selling them.


Fast-food joints were unlikely source of imaginative 20th-century design — and will be missed

White Castle and others were kitschy and a loud rebuke to the serious architecture of the day. And that's what made them great.


5 ways the Twin Cities can look better in winter

Our extreme weather makes us unique and our urban design should reflect that.


When a Twin Cities movie theater vanishes, it takes neighborhood history with it

The story behind Westgate Theater, a movie house for what was once the streetcar suburb of Morningside.