City Council green-lights plans for an arts-driven downtown Hennepin Ave. of the future [IMAGES]

Categories: Announcements
HennepinAveBridge_Faber_hed.jpg
courtesy Damon Farber Associates
Hennepin Avenue boasts our gleaming Central Library, four historic theaters, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and the Walker Art Center. But these landmarks are broken up by too many parking lots and empty spaces for the street to feel like a cohesive destination.

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously backed a plan, one year and $200,000 in the making, to start changing that.

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- Artists and city planners team up for the Creative Citymaking Project


The new vision calls for a Hennepin Cultural District that will fill in the two-mile stretch between the Walker and the Mississippi with green, creative, and pedestrian-friendly spaces like outdoor courtyards and pop-up galleries, along with multifaceted buildings and artist lofts.
HennepinAvePlan.JPG
The Plan-It Hennepin team framed the new initiative this way.

Specifics include a new "visitor hub" to point out directions and sell rush theater tickets, street-to-skyway connections, and event spaces with kid- and teen-targeted programming. The plan singles out the river gateway and I-94 as major areas for improvement.

Planning for this downtown campus has been spearheaded by the Hennepin Theatre Trust, the Walker, Artspace, and the city, and funded largely by a 2011 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. These backers hope to see the District take shape in the next three to ten years.

In the immediate, two-year future, the District wants to launch an open-street project, "invest in distinctive public art," and focus on creating programming and reducing store vacancies. For all the details, the Theatre Trust website offers a download of all 82-pages of the comprehensive plan.

The initiative goes hand-in-hand with the Minneapolis Downtown Council's "Downtown 2025" vision, a major aim of which is to double the number of residents living in the urban core to 70,000. If both plans succeed, there might even be some people around to enjoy all of the new trees and public art.

Take a look at the renderings for what might be Minneapolis's new main street:

HennepinAve1.jpg
courtesy Hennepin Theatre Trust
HennepinAve2.jpg
courtesy Hennepin Theatre Trust
HennepinAveBridge_Faber_full.jpg
courtesy Damon Farber Associates



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6 comments
Paul Walker
Paul Walker

So what if traffic is messed up. It's called progress. Ride a bike or take the bus.

Evan Walde
Evan Walde

Are they going to fuck up the traffic again?

keny1
keny1

@Paul Walker Progress is creating more traffic congestion for the sake of the "Arts"? You must live in a different world than the rest of us.

olso6311
olso6311

@keny1 ya fuck the arts they don't mean anything, let's keep backing sports teams!

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