City gives preliminary OK for demolition of Star Tribune building

The staff at the Heritage Preservation Commission in Minneapolis has signed off on the demolition of the Star Tribune building to make way for a Downtown East park planned near the new Vikings stadium. Here’s a look at the building through nearly a century of Minneapolis history:

The building itself is a bit of Minnesota history. Here’s an excerpt from the staff report on its origins:

“The subject property was constructed in 1919 and 1920 by the Nonpartisan League: the populist and somewhat socialist agrarian movement that swept the upper Midwest beginning in 1915 and which led to the formation of the Farmer Labor Party. The League, under the auspices of the Northwest Publishing Company, founded the Minnesota Daily Star (later named the Minneapolis Daily Star): one of Minneapolis’ many upstart papers audacious enough to challenge the dominant Minneapolis Journal and Minneapolis Tribune. The paper quickly faltered, falling into receivership by 1924.”

That history won’t be enough to save the place from the wrecking ball, if the Historic Preservation Commission approves the request for “Demolition of a Historic Resource” at its Nov. 19th meeting. It’s part of a multi-step approval process for the larger, $400 million Downtown East development proposed by the Ryan Cos. The newspaper is expected to relocate elsewhere downtown.

The city is asking to keep some of the history, though. The Heritage Preservation Commission has two conditions for tearing the place down, including saving a half-dozen “seals” representing the industries of the Upper Midwest:

  • At the developer’s expense, the developer shall ensure the six stone medallions are safely removed, stored, and incorporated into the proposed park onsite, along with an interpretive plaque describing the history of the site.
  • The developer shall commission a historian who meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards in History to document the history of the Star Tribune and its previously purchased newspapers, for distribution to CPED and local historical organizations, and possible publication in popular and/or scholarly journals.

You can read the report here:

  • TheCommenterWithNoName

    This is truly despicable.

    A beautiful, majestic building that is part of the fabric of our city’s history should not be demolished to provide what amounts to a private park for big-money banking and real-estate interests. The city has already done enough to subsidize the plutocrats who own the Vikings and their new stadium.

    The building is well-suited to reuse as housing or office space.

    The historic Star and Tribune Building must be saved.

    • Madeline Douglass

      I encourage all who oppose the destruction of the Star and Tribune buildings to send an email to the planner listed in the report and/or the members of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission.

  • Keith Kroschel

    THIS is what is wrong with Minneapolis. How can anyone be proud of this place? Wasn’t the Metrodome enough? Let’s build ANOTHER stadium on the bones of the last bad idea and add a park with parking in the place of a REAL landmark and smile and pat ourselves on the back and take pride in how progressive we are. It’s a shame once again. I love the part about saving the “seals”. That’s rich.

  • John Scott Haack

    This is so disgusting…….hasn’t mpls. Learned from the 60s urban renewal frenzie and the destruction of the metropolitian life ins. Bldg. that enough is enough????? Outragious ….. John haack, maple lake….