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


Minneapolis' skyways are getting little use now, but they'll eventually be popular again

While they're getting little use now, these essential downtown connectors will eventually come back to life.


Key Twin Cities malls are being transformed into town centers

Well-located and managed by savvy owners, a few powerhouse malls continue to evolve and thrive.


Often overlooked, parking ramps reflect Twin Cities history

Advancements in engineering transformed the technology, scale and design of parking structures.


The 1913 widening of St. Paul's Robert Street gave the city room to grow

More than 30 buildings, many dating to the 1880s or earlier, had to be torn down or have their front lopped off 20 feet.


Where does Minneapolis seem most deserted? The skyways

City sidewalks aren't the real measure of how vacant Minneapolis is right now.


How closing Kmart and finally reopening Nicollet Avenue will change Mpls.

Reviving the once-busy thoroughfare can help create a more vibrant, connected city.


Why do new plans for Upper Harbor Terminal in Mpls. repeat old mistakes?

Analysis: We need new kinds of development that will eliminate disparities, increase affordability, and generate jobs.


With Kowalski's coming to Southdale, the first U.S. mall gets closer to roots

With the addition of a grocery store, Southdale moves one step closer to its original vision as a community hub.


How the Twin Cities could be designed for winter livability

A few humble street corners show us how to create a "patio culture" year-round.


Nearly a dozen smaller Minneapolis buildings were razed for the IDS Center. The city's better for it

For many decades, the central core was a great architectural hodgepodge, with many blocks containing buildings in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.


In Dinkytown, a 1960s landmark library gets the rebirth it deserves + Photo Gallery

A 1960s Dinkytown library — by Minnesota Modernist architect Ralph Rapson — gleams anew after an $11.6 million restoration.


Think the Minneapolis skyline is unique? Think again – we have copycat buildings in our midst + Photo Gallery

Some of our landmark buildings aren't so unique. Others are ours alone.


In its heyday, Drake Hotel offered Old World allure

Built in 1926, Minneapolis hotel lost to Christmas fire slipped into second-tier status after a decade or two.


The 7 best projects by Minnesota architects from 2019

The American Institute of Architects Minnesota honored projects ranging from a wayside rest stop to a lakeside cabin to a college arts complex.


Fires in downtown St. Paul reshaped the cityscape in the 1950s and '60s

Midcentury fires in downtown St. Paul removed many Victorian structures.


St. Paul's historic homes offer tours and stories of Christmases past + Photo Gallery

Two St. Paul gems, decked out for the holidays, offer a look at Christmases past.


Public Service Center may not be worth saving, but it's worth remembering

The demolition of the rather ordinary Public Service Center in Minneapolis will leave a gap in the city scape.


Rebuilt Minnehaha Academy forges connection to past, neighborhood and nature + Photo Gallery

Two years after a fatal explosion, the design for the rejuvenated campus reaches toward the future.


You can learn a lot about Minneapolis history by walking the skyways

Photos, murals and other collections make the skyways into mini-museums.


Affordable housing was once a staple of our downtowns. Here's what happened

Residential hotels and rooming houses in Minneapolis and St. Paul offered alternatives to houses and apartments.


Take a photo tour of Mpls. in 1907 with astonishing, interactive panorama

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."


This 1885 Park Avenue mansion was the queen of the Queen Annes

With its balconies, porches, dormers and gingerbread trim, this Park Avenue mansion in Minneapolis was the giddiest of them all.


The Twin Cities didn't get a subway in the 1900s, and here's why

In the early 1900s, there was talk of building one. It would have put its mark on the metro.


Elegant Gothic church dominated Minneapolis skyline — until it burned a second time

An iconic sanctuary survived an 1888 fire and a 1904 tornado only to burn down years later.


$10 million later, the renovated Peavey Plaza is an accessible success + Photo Gallery

A renovation has restored the downtown gem's singular looks while making it accessible to all.