BEST LANDMARK (2001)
City Hall's Clock Tower
Downtown Minneapolis does not have a very good reputation for hanging on to its historic structures. Today, with only a few exceptions, the downtown skyline is a morass of cold, soulless edifices constructed during the Eighties and Nineties. With the exception, perhaps, of Philip Johnson's 1973 IDS Center, this city could be Anytown, USA. But then there's the city hall's clock tower, rising some 345 feet above the street (400 feet if you measure to the top of the flagstaff). The entire structure, with its Richardsonian Romanesque grandeur, red granite walls, and copper roof, is a great historic building: Originally known as the Municipal Building when it was built between 1887 and 1906, it was the tallest structure in the city until the 1920s. Downtown has long since obscured the city hall's physical prominence, but not that of the tower, which remains a beacon, a symbol of Minneapolis, and a reminder of our history.