Peavey Plaza redesign unveiled, changes fountain

Editor’s note: If you’ve been following this blog in the past two days, you know that there are architects and preservationists currently protesting the redesign process of Peavey Plaza. Here’s the latest from MPR’s Brandt Williams on today’s unveiling of the proposed redesign.

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A partial view of Peavey Plaza at it appears today in downtown Minneapolis.

MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

Minneapolis city officials today unveiled the design for the renovation of Peavey Plaza. The 40-year-old plaza, which is adjacent to Orchestra Hall downtown, needs repairs and updates. Mayor RT Rybak says the new plaza will comply with laws that require accessibility and sustainability. He says the renovation will get rid of the steep stairways, and will feature a fountain that won’t waste thousands of gallons of water.

We’ve learned that we can do fountains that are much shallower, that have the same impact, but are much more sustainable. Those of us who remember back during a drought about 15, or so years ago, when this was turned off, know that those droughts in the new world are going to happen more. So sustainability needs to be part of this work as well.

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Peavey Plaza as it might appear, looking north, winter

Artist rendering courtesy of Oslund & Associates

Architect Tom Oslund says the new plaza fountain will be easy to drain, in order to make room for more seating for events.

The idea of a public plaza and how it is used, designed and programmed are far more sophisticated and complex today than they were when Peavey was conceived.

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View of Peavey Plaza looking south, summer

Artist rendering courtesy of Oslund & Associates

The price tag for the renovation is estimated at between 8 and 10 million dollars. City officials say most of the money will come from private sources. An open house later today at Orchestra Hall will show the public the new design for the Peavey Plaza renovation.

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