City of Minneapolis responds to Peavey Plaza concerns

Earlier today local architects and preservationists voiced their concerns over how the Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis is being redesigned.

This afternoon I heard back from Krista Bergert with the City of Minneapolis. Bergert pulledl together these bullet points on the process surrounding the redesign of the downtown Minneapolis plaza:

CEC (Community Engagement Committee) members were shown design images in June. We did not give them copies of the images because they were still evolving. For that reason, we preferred that they not talk about the designs they’ve seen. They were not told they could not discuss the process.

Friedberg and Birnbaum are subconsultants to Oslund, not the City. My understanding is that Oslund did consult with them, but at a point, Friedberg and Birnbaum said they were not in favor of pursuing a new option for Peavey Plaza. Because of their viewpoint, they were not consulted beyond that.

The City and Orchestra have held two open houses to date to ask for public comments on the design of the plaza, and we received many. In June the CEC was shown four design schemes, a preservation scheme, a hybrid option and two new schemes. We received comments on all the schemes. Subsequent to that meeting, the Review Committee limited the options to preservation or new design. On August 23, the Review Committee voted to go with a new design option.

We never told the CEC that a preservation option would be twice as expensive. In fact, we said that it would cost $11-12 million while the new scheme would be $8-10 million.

Landscape architect will be responsible for the preparation of cost estimates for alternative concepts. The MOA and City will work together to determine the best alternative based on the limited funds available for the project.

Again, a public open house is planned for Wednesday, October 19, from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the MN Orchestra Hall lobby to review the design being recommended by the city and the orchestra.

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