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350 South 5th Street
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Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

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Records and Studies

Peavey Plaza Historic Structures Report

August 2016 

Complete Report (August 2016)

Appendix A                 Appendix I                                

Appendix B                 Appendix J                           

Appendix C                 Appendix K                             

Appendix D                 Appendix L                              

Appendix E                 Appendix M                                  

Appendix F                 Appendix N                             

Appendix G                 Appendix O                                

Appendix H                 Appendix P

Peavey Plaza HSR and Existing Conditions Study

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is this project about?

The purpose of Historic Structures Report (HSR) and Existing Conditions study was to determine the existing conditions at Peavey Plaza and then plan for how to make improvements to the plaza without negatively impacting its historic significance. 

Who is doing the Study?

The City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works is led the project. The City retained a team led by Miller Dunwiddie Architecture (MDA) to complete the work. The team was comprised of specialists in historic preservation and specifically the preservation of: Modern fountains; the concrete, masonry, and tile materials that comprise the fountain weirs and the steps and paved areas; plumbing, electrical, and lighting systems; and trees and vegetation. 

What was the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the study was fourfold. First, it documented the historic significance of Peavey Plaza. Second, the study identified, described, and documented the existing conditions at Peavey Plaza. Third, based on this more complete understanding of the existing conditions, the study identified improvements that should be made to Peavey Plaza and how to make those improvements in a way that is sympathetic to the plaza’s historical significance. And fourth, the study included conceptual costs of such improvements. The study will help guide the City in procuring the appropriate services required to complete the detailed design work and construction related to these improvements and to develop a more complete scope, schedule, and budget for the work.

Wasn’t there a design to replace Peavey Plaza a few years ago?

The City began making plans to improve Peavey Plaza in 2010 and in 2011-2012 developed a completely new design for the plaza.  In 2012 the City obtained a permit to demolish Peavey Plaza.  At that time, several representatives of the preservation community brought a lawsuit against the City and in January 2013 the plaza was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The plaintiffs and the City settled the lawsuit in 2013, ending any plans for a new design and agreeing to collaborate in planning for and designing any future improvements to the plaza that would be in keeping with its historic status. For more information you can read the settlement agreement here 

If there is not going to be a new design then what kind of improvements will be made?

There are likely to be three types of improvements.  The first are improvements required to fix, repair, or otherwise make functional again existing features of the original design such as the fountains, reflecting pool, and existing concrete features, paved areas, and landscaped areas.  Improvements might include preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction, depending upon the condition and significance of the specific feature.  The second type of improvements will bring Peavey Plaza up to date in terms of current codes and laws and may include improving accessibility for people with disabilities and ensuring that Peavey Plaza’s storm water management system and fountain plumbing system comply with current codes.  The third type of improvements will be related to making Peavey Plaza more usable for events and programming and may include increasing the amount of power available in the plaza for events.

How will Peavey Plaza be used in the future?

Peavey Plaza has become a place for relaxation and respite as well as for events and activities. The objective of this project is to allow Peavey Plaza to continue serving these uses as it has in the past and to make it even more functional and useful as an event space in the future. 

Is this project related to the Nicollet Mall project?

The Peavey Plaza project is separate from the Nicollet Mall project and will most likely be completed after Nicollet Mall is completed; however, the City intends to integrate the Nicollet Mall and Peavey Plaza designs together

How will the project be funded and how much will it cost?

In 2010 the MN Legislature made a matching grant of $2M for improvements to Peavey Plaza as a part of a larger grant that included the Orchestra Hall expansion and renovation project.  That $2M remains unspent and may be used for construction.  An additional $2M will need to be raised for a minimum construction budget of $4M to obtain these matching funds from the state and the total budget is likely to be more than $4M so any additional funds will also need to be raised. The total project budget is yet to be determined.  

Last updated May 14, 2018

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