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Best Local Landmark Minneapolis 2014 - The Grain Belt sign

The gateway to Nordeast, the beacon that beckons downtowners to Minneapolis's trendiest neighborhood, the local brand that stirs up feelings of civic pride — from its perch on Nicollet Island, the Grain Belt sign stands as one of the most beloved symbols of the modern Twin Cities. But that rests, in part, on the fact that it's one of the few remaining symbols of the lost Twin Cities, the Minneapolis of old before skyways and parking garages and high rises took over the landscape. In a part of the city where much of the architectural history seems to start in 1960, this once utilitarian piece of 1940s signage stands out for all the right reasons — its link to history, its striking typography, and the fact that it's so damn big. It no longer lights up, but that doesn't make it any less vibrant.

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