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

Structures at the Minnesota State Fair built to last, but also to change

If these walls could talk, you'd hear a lot of interesting stories, of course, but the State Fair's historic structures continue to shelter young leaders, echo with the favorite songs of every era, and showcase regular Minnesotans doing their best work.

A Minneapolis block may hold a world record for churches

The four houses of worship in Northeast have long histories.

The best bridges in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the story behind each

More than a city of Lakes, Minneapolis is a city of bridges. We have so many that we have spares, like the Third Avenue and…

Great cities have great fountains: Here are the 6 best in the Twin Cities

Admire turtles, gargoyles, cherubs and more.

Macy's furniture store in Edina is facing the wrecking ball. It's not a big loss.

The 1970s "earth-sheltered" building has fans.

Is the reign of the skyscraper over in the Twin Cities?

With demand for office space weak, it's unlikely Minneapolis or St. Paul will see massive additions to their skylines.

Downtown Minneapolis once set the standard for Christmas decorations

People used to flock to downtown Minneapolis for its elaborate holiday displays.

Few will be blue as mirrored glass towers disappear from downtown Minneapolis

The Wells Fargo Operations Center is slated next for replacement.

1910's St. Paul Hotel is just the latest hotel to grace downtown corner

The corner of W. 5th and St. Peter streets has been devoted to the same use for more than 150 years.

Is there a future for neighborhood theaters in the Twin Cities?

They have a storied past. They can have a future — if we buy tickets.

Nicollet Mall, once an urban oasis, is now flowerless

The parklike greensward of the rendering for the planned remake doesn't match the current stark reality.

Why the Minnesota State Fair is the best small town in the state

The fairgrounds offer an eclectic mix of architecture, walkability and storefronts.

A sculpture made waves when it was installed in Minneapolis. And then one day it was gone

We went in search of "Inner Search."

The 'dangerous' days of downtown Minneapolis dance halls

A long-forgotten dance hall in downtown Minneapolis flustered local guardians of morality.

These Twin Cities Depression-era projects have stood the test of time

The Armory, the Minneapolis Post Office and a State Fair building are among those still actively used today.

The days of pins and pool in downtown Minneapolis

The forgotten life of a long-empty parking lot.

The story behind the makeover of the 50-year-old IDS Crystal Court

How the $5 million makeover, five years in the making and a model of sensitivity and ingenuity, came to be.

The skyscraper that could have redefined downtown St. Paul

When a promising office tower proposal fizzled in 1970, it set off a dispiriting architectural chain reaction.

RBC Gateway in downtown Minneapolis isn't splashy, but it's functional

Review: It's big and it's blue, but it's no threat to the IDS.

Readers help solve Milwaukee Road mystery

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…

The mystery of the vanishing top of the Milwaukee Road Depot tower

How long has the cupola been gone? And what happened to it?

Tiny World Theater was one of many stylish movie houses in downtown Minneapolis

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.

Billboards could bring some much needed life to downtown Mpls. streets

There was a time when billboards were fun, bright, vivacious and artistic.

Beautiful, useless towers adorned Twin Cities mansions in Victorian era

The mania for towers reached its height in the 1880s, when the busy Queen Anne style was in full flower.

8 missed opportunities on the Minneapolis streetscape

There's always room for improvement to make Minneapolis a more livable city.

Is the graffiti on Twin Cities sound barriers and ramps art or visual litter?

The longer it stays, the more graffiti appears.

Why the Dale Street I-94 overpass is a role model for freeway design

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.

Minnesota's five-and-dime stores were the Target of 20th-century Main Street

Dime stores offered everything from socks to hamburgers.

At the University of Minnesota's Pillsbury Hall, everything old is new again

One of the oldest buildings on campus was remade into the home of the university's English department.