Old Fuji Ya restaurant along the Mississippi to be torn down. Read more.
12/09/2013 UPDATE: Star Tribune building edges closer to demolition
11/20/2013 UPDATE: Heritage panel denies permit to demolish Star Tribune building
11/16/2013 ALERT: Ryan Companies has applied for a demolition of a historic resource to demolish the StarTribune building at 425 Portland Ave. This application for demolition is on the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Agenda for their regular meeting scheduled to be held 4:30 pm on November 19th in room 317 of Minneapolis City Hall (350 South 5th Street).The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development Staff recommends that the Heritage Preservation Commission approve the demolition of the property at 425 Portland Ave with conditions. Attend the meeting to voice your opinion.
Hennepin County has taken the first step toward potentially relocating the Southeast Community Library, formerly the State Capitol Credit Union, to a new site leaving the future of the Ralph Rapson building at risk. In 1963, while dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Minnesota, Rapson designed the State Capitol Credit Union in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus. Four years later he was commissioned to convert the structure to a public library. Partially a subterranean building, the reading rooms and offices of the brick and glass structure are set up on a concrete platform several feet from the street level. Sixteen cruciform supports – cross-shaped, tapered concrete columns – help support the concrete, waffle-slab overhanging roof. Skylights provide additional light to the interior of the building. This gem of modern architecture is a rare example of a property that shares the same famed architect for its original building and renovation.
In December 2006 the Southeast Community Library was temporarily closed and discussions to designate it as a local landmark emerged. When the library reopened a year later following the merger of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County Library systems, concerns for the library were kept at bay. Despite having survived the 2006 system-wide Minneapolis Public Library budget crisis, the Rapson structure could again be under threat. According to Hennepin County Capital Projects project manager Kelli Koob, the Southeast Library is undergoing a facility and site assessment to gain a thorough understanding of current conditions. We anticipate that the county will discuss the outcome of the assessment with community members as part of the community engagement process in the fall.
Stay tuned to the Hennepin County Library Building Projects page for developments as they are posted. We encourage you to contact Docomomo US/MN if you wish to get involved and make the significance of this Rapson building known.
Read the MN Daily Article.
The new design calls for the complete removal of Peavey Plaza—the signature fountains and grade levels, the hardscape, the plantings, everything. These are the features that make the such a singular, iconic, and vibrant public space. A new park that has some recessed levels and water features will be built. It has a lot of technology as well—a “sound garden” and a “performance wall.” The design looks like it smashes together the New York Highline and Chicago’s Millennium Park. While these are both interesting designs and successful projects, we believe that the proposed designs for Peavey effectively transform a landmark into a lookalike. What you can do: The city has set up a webpage with images of the “recommended design.” There is a link to submit comments via email by midnight (CST) October 24, 2011. Two city council committees are meeting on Tuesday to vote on the design to move the project forward. They will supposedly take the comments into consideration. The city council is supposed to vote on the design on November 4 and they hope to start construction in spring 2012.
Please go to this site and submit a comment to the city – let them know if you feel the new design really “sympathetically reinterprets” the current design. The link on the webpage for comments goes to Beth Grosen at the city: Beth.Grosen@minneapolismn.gov
Read more: Original Peavey Plaza architect M. Paul Friedberg and Post-WWII landscape architecture expert, Charles Birnbaum’s letter to the City of Minneapolis voicing their concern about the new design.