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Tear down Block-E. You could also add the Schubert to the list.
The fact that Barbara Flanagan is calling some of those patches of grass "parks" shows how low our standards are. How about the parking lot across the street at the end of the light rail line? Perfect place for a nice park that would link the new ballpark to the rest of downtown. A lot of people live downtown now and would get use out of it.
Technically, Loring Park is in the Loring Park neighborhood and not in downtown Minneapolis and ditto to the Sculpture Garden. What downtown Minneapolis lacks even more than parks are monuments to our history and important people. Every great city I've been to is peppered with monuments. We have so few, unless, of course you include the Mary Tyler Moore statue on 7th and the Mall.
The only type of park we have downtown is a "park-ing lot" Many can be seen in Elliot "Parking lot"
I always hear the complaints that Downtown doesn't have enough park space. I'd argue that we don't have enough good park or plaza space. It's about making the place inviting to people, to make it comfortable to sit and watch the world pass by, to have "chance" encounters with friends, or just reflect. We don't necessarily need park space as much as we need well-designed plazas that have some greenery but provide (most importantly) a place to sit in comfort (which may mean trees above you) and where you feel safe. We could use our own little Paley Park. I personally think the worst place Downtown for a park would be Block E or next to Schubert. 5th and Nicollet would be a much better spot, especially if the north half of that block were anchored with a new development.
The fairly obvious answer regarding building a great downtown park isn't to tear existing spaces down, but to build a great park on existing surface parking lots that will eventually be engulfed by natural development. One great example is the Gold Medal Park next to the Guthrie.
There seems to be quite a few surface lots around the Central Library downtown...or near the metrodome. Why not utilize one or two of those lots to create a great downtown space and allow it to naturally be absorbed as towers form around it over time?
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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