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The redesign we've unveiled creates an effective public space for our times.
I moved here from IL 24yrs. ago (and lived in DT) and liked the Plaza but I do agree that it is time for a refreshing change.
While Peavey Plaza was innovative when new, today it looks sad, forlorn and very much out of date. Fans of drab grey concrete need not look any further than the former Multifoods tower which sticks out like a sore thumb among the bejeweled skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis.
It may be necessary but the design is a throw back to stripped down modernism and lacks originality, reativity and vibrance. I sure hope they decide to take another shot at the design.
Looks like typical design by committee: lowest common denominator.
Change is always difficult, particularly for places where society has a multitude of pleasant memories. Such a place is Peavey Plaza. Having moved here from Chicago almost 30 years ago, my family has many memories of the Plaza from ice skating to Summerfest. However, with Orchestra Hall renovating, the time has come to reinvigorate the Plaza. It might not exist the way it did for the last 30 years of my family's memories, but it will continue to exist for a whole bunch of new memories. And that is what is important. It will still exist.
None of the points have merit. Thousands of people who attend events agree that it accomodates performances very well. The concrete is solid - will last ages as intended. Crimes and misconduct are unheard of. It is accessible. Living with one's cultural heritage beats looking back with fond memories and regret. The 21st century does not signify new and improved if it is worse. The space is much smaller in square feet and will accomodate far fewer citizens and visitors. The arrangement of trees (trees are good!) shuts the space away from the public. It is no longer a part of the Nicollet Mall street scape. The new plan is commonplace - nowhere near the nationally recognized unique, unparalleled Peavey Plaza as it exists. The city neglected to maintain its magnificent public festival space. They allowed the fountain plumbing to decay. They made a mistake. The easiest way to cover-up a huge mistake is to get rid of the evidence, thus the elimination of Minneapolis's remarkable signature plaza.
Peavey needs to be refurbished, not bulldozed. This new plan is an abomination to the historic plaza we have now. Fix the fountains and the pool. It already has a handicapped ramp. keep the cool fountain and concrete squares one has to hop over. If Rybak had spent the money on maintenance it wouldn't be so run down.
Peavey needs to be scrapped and the property retrunred to the tax rolls.
As much as we wish it weren't so, the Mayor is right. It's time to retire the current rather unforgiving design.
As a nationally recognized architect I must say I am not in favor of the change. The current design, with the fountain working and skating in the winter is by far the best to help deal with this inclement climate. I feel the addition of a dancing bear would be the best way to spend the surplus of moneys the city just recently found. Children along with adults would love to see a dancing bear downtown.
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