This interesting architecture proposal crossed my desk today, and I wanted to throw it out there. Minneapolis has been so consistently good at tearing down buildings over the last century, it’d be nice to slow that process.
Any thoughts about this?
Here’s the email from the architect:
I understand that a final vote on the Ryan Companies proposal will take place this Friday. I fear that the fate of the Star Tribune Building is confusingly tied up in the overall decision on the project, and that a win-win opportunity will be missed. The triumphal arch scheme I have put forth will satisfy the majority of preservationists while improving Ryan’s hoped-for park—without interfering with the more general progress of the project.
If the Ryan proposal is accepted by Council, please include a proviso that the triumphal arch portion of the building remain—at least until further study can be done. Doing so will not delay Ryan’s project.
I believe the value of the scheme is apparent: A large park needs architectural elements to punctuate it visually, provide a locus for activities, and promote the safety and comfort of its users. The arch will help in all such regards: it could provide a setting for performing arts, food vending, socializing, tourist information, security guards, and perhaps public restrooms. A screen could be lowered from the top of the arch to show movies, and a demountable stage could accommodate musical performances, stage plays, political events, graduations, and sports rallies. The upper levels also could be programmed: a restaurant or meeting space on the top floor overlooking the park would present an opportunity to generate considerable revenue.
Successful cities are places of evolutionary change. They work best not when serviceable structures are wholly demolished or taxidermically preserved, but when they are sensitively altered to accommodate new uses. The Star Tribune Building served Minneapolis for so long precisely because of such adaptation; it deserves a continued role in Minneapolis’ future. Please require that the triumphal arch portion of the building be preserved, at least until further study is undertaken. No undue delay will likely result.