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Peavey Plaza Splash Pic

Photo Copyright The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Link to information about events and permits in Peavey Plaza   

 Peavey Plaza 2017-18 Stakeholder Progress Meetings

A team led by Minneapolis-based landscape architecture firm Coen+ partners with Preservation Design Works will focus on revitalizing the plaza while preserving its historic assets. The project team will focus on improvements to the fountains and reflecting basin, concrete repairs, utility upgrades and making the plaza accessible to people with disabilities.

In order to complete schematic design on schedule, there will be monthly stakeholder meetings in February, March, April and June.  After schematic design is completed in June, there will be stakeholder meetings every two to three months until the detailed design is completed in early fall. The goal is to have construction work done by the end of 2018.

The Stakeholder Progress meetings will be held in the Green Room of Orchestra Hall for all interested parties to hear project updates and provide input on the rehabilitation of Peavey Plaza:

February 22 – 4-5 p.m. - Presentation

March 22 –  4:30-5:30 p.m. - Presentation and HSR Summary Table

April 19 – 4-5 p.m. - Presentation

30% Design Submittal to Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office - May 2017

30% Submittal Cover Letter

30% Design Submittal

30% SHPO Submission Drawings

June 14 4-5 p.m. - Presentation

Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office 30% Comments - July 2017

In the 30% Comments from SHPO, there was a recommendation for the City to host a consultation meeting with SHPO and interested consulting parties.
The City hosted two sessions on July 18 and August 3. Below are the presentations and minutes from the Consultation meetings:

Peavey Consultation Meeting Presentation 7-18-17  -  Meeting Minutes

Peavey Consultation Meeting Presentation 8-3-17  -  Meeting Minutes

60% Design Submittal to Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office - September 2017

60% Design Submittal

60% SHPO Submission Drawings

Lunch with Lisa Goodman Presentation - September 27, 2017

Technical Team Presentation - October 18, 2017

Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office 60% Comments - October 2017

90% Design Submittal to Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office - November 2017

90% Design Submittal

90% SHPO Submission Drawings

 Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office 90% Comments - January 2018

Peavey Stakeholder Meeting Presentation - January 17, 2018

January 17, 2018 4:00-5:00 p.m. - Stakeholder Update Meeting - Orchestra Hall, Green Room


Map of Orchestra Hall:

The Kathy and Charlie Cunningham Green Room overlooks Peavey Plaza.

Project contact for comments or questions: Jennifer Swanson 612.673.2529 or [email protected]


Landscape architecture firm awarded
contract to restore Peavey Plaza

Dec. 9, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) The City Council has approved a contract with Minneapolis-based Coen+Partners to rehabilitate and revitalize Peavey Plaza at 12th Street South & Nicollet Mall.

The landscape architecture firm will focus on improving the plaza while preserving its historic assets. Priorities include refurbishing the fountains and reflecting basin, concrete repairs, utility upgrades and making the plaza accessible to people with disabilities. The goal is to have construction work done by the end of 2018.

Peavey Plaza was built in 1974 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. It was designed by landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg and is a notable example of modernist architecture. Coen+Partners’ design and construction process will be guided by a study on the plaza’s historic significance and conditions commissioned by the City.

“Peavey Plaza has sat almost abandoned and forlorn for too long, this is the first step toward a new vision for this great old space,” said City Council Member Lisa Goodman. “If anyone has a vision that can preserve the old while making the space accessible, refreshed and new, it’s Shane Coen. I look forward to a great new partnership between residents, downtown workers and leaders, visitors and the Orchestra to bring Peavey Plaza back to life.”

Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District, said he looks forward to seeing the project vision become a reality.

“Peavey Plaza has, over its history, been a place to gather, enjoy entertainment, and take in the hustle and bustle of downtown,” Cramer said. “It’s now time to re-invest in and re-energize this important place. The Minneapolis Downtown Council looks forward to being a partner with other Peavey Plaza stakeholders as this project takes shape.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing Peavey Plaza reach its potential. The renovations to this important public place and Nicollet Mall will make downtown Minneapolis even more dynamic,” said Council Member Kevin Reich, chair of the Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee. “Coen+Partners will breathe new life into Peavey Plaza while honoring its history.”

The revitalization plan for Peavey Plaza comes as Nicollet Mall is undergoing a major transformation. Once fully complete in 2018, the redesigned street will be a more inviting place for pedestrians with more durable and environmentally friendly paving materials, new landscaping, lighting and public art, among other things.

Peavey Plaza

In 2016, a team led by Miller Dunwiddie Architecture drafted a Historic Structures Report and Existing Conditions Study for Peavey Plaza.

The report will guide engineers and landscape architects in determining what renovations are feasible while retaining the 43-year-old plaza’s historic character and significance.

The plaza, which was constructed in 1974, is in need of rehabilitation. The iconic cascading fountain no longer works, and the pools at Peavey Plaza have been dry for years as a result. The lower levels of the plaza are not accessible to people with disabilities.

In 2011, the City developed a plan to reconstruct Peavey Plaza. Historic preservationists challenged those plans and succeeded in having the plaza placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through a court settlement, the City agreed to abandon its initial plan and collaborate with preservationists on a new rehabilitation proposal. The goal is to revitalize Peavey Plaza in a way that retains its historic character and significance.

The City will now work with the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, Greening Downtown Minneapolis and representatives of the preservation community and other stakeholders to develop a rehabilitation plan. 

Peavey Plaza Stakeholder Progress Meetings

Each month from December, 2015 to May, 2016 there were Peavey Plaza Stakeholder Progress Meetings. The purpose of the meetings was to introduce stakeholders interested in Peavey Plaza to the purpose and progress of the Historic Structures Report and Exiting Conditions Survey work that started in October, 2015. The Historic Structures Report was completed and published in August, 2016. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

  1. Sign-in
  2. Agenda
  3. Update

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  1. Sign-in
  2. Agenda
  3. Update

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 

  1. Sign-in
  2. Agenda
  3. Update

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

  1. Sign-in
  2. Agenda
  3. Update

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 

  1. Sign-in
  2. Agenda
  3. Update

Tuesday, May 11, 2016, 3:30-6:30 pm

  1.  Sign-in

Final Peavey Plaza Historic Structures Report stakeholder meeting


Peavey Plaza Historic Structures 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



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 Mar 5, 2018



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