Minneapolis presented four shiny design options for its new downtown park last night as construction on the Vikings stadium and adjacent Wells Fargo towers rings out around the clock in Downtown East.
The concepts were unveiled to a crowd of a couple hundred at the Mill City Museum.
Any green space added to downtown would be a welcome addition, but a park cut in half by a busy street (Portland Ave.) is pretty weird, right?
Here's how the park designer Hargreaves Associates described the plan for Portland, according to the Star Tribune:
"Portland Avenue will be significantly narrower," said Mary Margaret Jones, principal at Hargreaves. "And it can be closed at times for events."Permanently closing Portland would require Hennepin County to sign off because it's a county road, and the county has already said that's not happening.
Instead of the existing three traffic lanes, two parking lanes and one bike lane, the new Portland will have two car lanes, and two parking lanes will turn into bike lanes.
Vikings VIP party tents are conspicuously absent in all of these dreamscapes. The crack negotiators at the city allowed the team the right to use the park, for free, up to 86 days per year.
The design team from San Francisco-based Hargreaves Associates is taking the feedback it got last night and will return in May to present its first official design.
Click to page two to see a more detailed aerial view of the designs.
Send news tips to Ben Johnson.
[page] Click any of these to enlarge.