Peavey Plaza to get redesign rather than wrecking ball
One of several alternative plans for Peavey Plaza, designed by the original landscape architect. Courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
The historic and aging Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis will be redesigned rather than demolished as per the terms of an out-of-court agreement approved today by city council and signed by Mayor R.T. Rybak.
An announcement released by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the Washington, D.C.-based Cultural Landscape Foundation, which had been suing the city, says both sides will "work together on a new plan that maintains Peavey's historic character while rehabilitating it to address access, maintenance and programming issues."
Several alternative plans have been designed, but there' no word yet on whether they'll be included in the talks.
In the past, the city argued that demolition was the most viable course of action for the park, which had also served as the gathering place for Occupy activists at the height of the movement. The Public Works department called it "functionally obsolete" and said "the cost to repair or replicate is not feasible."
When the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission voted against demolition, in 2012, the city took its case to the Zoning and Planning Committee. About two months later, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the Cultural Landscape Foundation filed suit, arguing that demolition wasn't necessary to satisfy legitimate concerns about the Plaza.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places early this year. Landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg combined a European sensibility and an American approach to green space when designing the plaza in 1975.
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