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Thank god. Could the Orchestra donors please get out of our public square??
A plaza built in 1975 is deemed "historic." What balderdash.
How is an empty swimming pool a "historic" site?
Peavey Plaza has about as much historic value as the terrycloth shirt in the attic that my aunt gave me for Christmas 30 years ago. I just haven't gotten around to dragging the bag it's in down to the trash yet. It will be moving that way though and making space for something else though. I won't be 'preserving' it for 'historic' reasons.
I've actually come around to be open minded about rethinking the plaza based on issues about its functionality. But the new design proposal is soooooo cliche, bland, expected - boring. I don't understand why we would destroy a great and beloved space for that. The real proposal that should be considered is the one in which the original designer proposed retaining all of the signature features of Peavy Plaza while addressing the functionality issues. But unfortunately, I have no expectation this city will do that which is obvious, sensible, and in good taste.
If you look at the Star Tribune picture, it really is inconceivable why anyone would want to preserve this plaza. If you google Peavey Plaza, you get a totally different idea. If the Star Tribune has no appropriate pictures on stock, that is fine. But the picture is really misleading.
"Historic" is not synonymous with "old." For example, 9-11 was a historic event, but it didn't happen 100 years ago. Its effects on American history were immediately understood.
The same with Peavey Plaza. Its relevance on and place in American landscape design do not need a 100-year retrospective look.
Just like historically-designated buildings can be successfully renovated without destroying their historically significant contributing status on the National Register, I think the same should apply to public spaces. If the intent is to preserve this space without regard to the people intended to use it, that would be similar to leaving old buildings that would never have received energy efficient windows, heating, cooling, and accessibility improvements - things intended to enhance preservation but maintain use to updated standards/laws/expectations. If this is a beloved landmark, then maintain the historic designation but keep working on the updated design to get it right for the purpose it was intended in the first place as a public space.
Did anyone from the Preservation board ever see that place? I can't count the number of visitors we have shown around Minneapolis who see that grey, barren place and ask what had happened there. It looks like something from East Germany before the wall came down. A carbuncle on the face of a beautiful city.
Should be listed on the National Register of Eyesores
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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