Nicollet Mall

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
LakeCharles
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby LakeCharles » December 14th, 2014, 9:42 pm

Haha. Nice to see other Put This On readers on this forum.

twincitizen
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby twincitizen » December 31st, 2014, 10:04 am

YWCA's gonna make some improvements to coincide with the Nicollet Mall project: http://www.downtownmpls.com/news_articl ... -to-evolve

Unrelated, how do people feel about the decision to stick with Nicollet Mall over "Nicollet Mile"? Is the name change really something that should be decided by James Corner's design team? Shouldn't the city council discuss that at a meeting or something?

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby mattaudio » December 31st, 2014, 10:08 am

Also, I saw RT posted on Facebook this morning suggesting that Nicollet be vacated for vehicular use between Washington and 3rd Street. Not sure if this is just an idea of his, or if there's more basis for it. He also made it sound like the streetcar would most likely cut through the Nicollet Hotel block somehow. I like the idea of vacating the block for other vehicles, to better integrate Cancer Survivors Park and the Yamasaki park north of Washington. Buses could hop to Washington or 3rd Ave/Central via 3rd Street.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby twincitizen » December 31st, 2014, 10:16 am

I remember Metro Transit talking about that back in 2011-2012 when I interned there. It's been bouncing around for a while as an idea of how to increase the size of the green space and attach it to Cancer Survivors' Park. Perhaps we just need 22'-24' of transit-only ROW on 3rd St, if the diagonal cut doesn't work. It would be on the library side of the street, as to not complicate vehicle access into the Nic Hotel block, which would also be on 3rd. Either way, with a transit diagonal or all on 3rd, it would remove that annoying intersection of Nicollet & Washington, at which red lights are blown frequently, both intentionally and unintentionally (though presumably there'd still be some kind of ped-activated signal for a crossing in that area).

I hope the conversation about taxis and various service vehicles is brought to the fore soon. The other day I saw a DID truck just parked in the "transit lane" and thought - "well that ain't gonna work with streetcars", not that's it's remotely cool to do that to buses today. We need dedicated police/DID parking spaces on the cross streets, or specified pull-off space on the mall. The stopping of ANY vehicles in the transit lanes should be expressly prohibited. I'd really like to see taxis banned north of 11th St too. Getting the taxis off and making it truly transit-only (with appropriate signage and deterrents) would probably cut down on the number of confused minivan drivers as well.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Silophant » December 31st, 2014, 12:36 pm

twincitizen wrote:Unrelated, how do people feel about the decision to stick with Nicollet Mall over "Nicollet Mile"? Is the name change really something that should be decided by James Corner's design team? Shouldn't the city council discuss that at a meeting or something?
I'm just fine with sticking with the Nicollet Mall name. I think the Mall name is well known enough that it would have a lot of inertia, which would be exacerbated by the similarity of the names. Also, to me it seems like its trying too hard to force a comparison to the Magnificent Mile. I think that's the goal to shoot for, but Nicollet is going to come up short for a long time yet, so I don't think it wise to highlight it.

TroyGBiv
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby TroyGBiv » January 2nd, 2015, 1:45 am

The mall was innovative when it was first developed so renaming it Nicollet Mile only draws attention to how much it is in no way comparative to Michigan Avenue.

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Anondson
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Anondson » January 11th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Just a wistful thought, there will be commissioning of public art for this, and watching the massive rally in Paris for supporting free expression after the Charlie Hebdo massacre I was admiring the ralliers crawling atop the large public statues waving flags. I would love to have a statue with a huge statue atop a huge pillar atop a massive podium that would would be a perfect place to hold public rallies which we could likewise clamber on and wave flags. This feels like a huge civic hole for our city to be lacking that kind of massive stone statue to climb on.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby seanrichardryan » January 11th, 2015, 10:41 pm

You've never climbed Ole Bull during Pride and let your freak flag fly?
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Anondson » January 11th, 2015, 11:12 pm

It's not quite the same as this scale though...

Image
Minneapolis needs one of these. by xeoth, on Flickr

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby min-chi-cbus » January 12th, 2015, 8:30 am

Reminds me of Les Miserable

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby David Greene » January 12th, 2015, 11:38 am

Anondson wrote:Just a wistful thought, there will be commissioning of public art for this, and watching the massive rally in Paris for supporting free expression after the Charlie Hebdo massacre I was admiring the ralliers crawling atop the large public statues waving flags. I would love to have a statue with a huge statue atop a huge pillar atop a massive podium that would would be a perfect place to hold public rallies which we could likewise clamber on and wave flags. This feels like a huge civic hole for our city to be lacking that kind of massive stone statue to climb on.
This is why we need Tom Lowry in the middle of a traffic circle that replaces the Bottleneck.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby twincitizen » January 28th, 2015, 12:09 am

Assessment map & rates revealed: http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... -zone.html

There's probably going to be some resistance to certain aspects of this...

My 30-second impression is that the parts of Nicollet Avenue just south of the mall / 13th are going to benefit from this renovation considerably more than say, Grant Park condo owners. Then again, the green areas of the map are only coming up with $4.7MM total, so the pain ought to be spread pretty thin. It could be painful for some of the larger property owners though. I'm sure there will be property owners in that green zone arguing that they should pay nothing, and some of them probably have a good case. What the hell is the Basilica doing in the yellow zone (intermediate)? I'd imagine they'll try to argue their way out of this. They should be green, if included at all (assuming tax exempt properties are still eligible to be assessed).

I'm surprised they didn't reach down to I-94 right on Nicollet. That's considerably closer to the actual Nicollet Mall than the extreme east (Park Ave) and extreme west (5th Ave N, N Loop) of the district.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby twincitizen » March 2nd, 2015, 8:33 am

Much of the existing public art will be retained, down to the artsy manhole covers: http://minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/pub ... 138120.pdf

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 2nd, 2015, 9:41 am

I hope they do retain most of the current public art. I've been wary about this reconstruction partly because I don't want to lose art on the mall (also I'm a bit paranoid they'll try to sanitize the mall by making it more uncomfortable to spend time there).

One comment stood out to me in reference to the "StoneBoats" benches.
"Damage caused by maintenance equipment and skateboarders is significant. If this
damage can be prevented they could last 50-100 years or longer."
I would hope that we could really start to view that skateboarder "damage" as evidence of derivitive public art, possibly art more beautiful and inspiring than the physical sculpture itself. Those able to look beyond the superficial scratches in the stone may see the skateboarder as a public artist -- using creativity and skill to adapt that sculture to an unintended use and adding {...ahem..] v itality to the street.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby PhilmerPhil » March 2nd, 2015, 9:49 am

I briefly spoke with the city's Public Art Administrator (who told me her son skates) about the Stoneboats sculpture at the last Nicollet Mall meeting and told her it would be great to find a place to re-use the bench in a way that welcomes skateboarding on it. I will continue to pursue this, but wanted to contact the artist first to get his opinion on it. I just sent this email to him:

Good Morning,

I am writing you to get an opinion on the use of your work on Nicollet Mall, Stoneboats. It's re-use is currently in question as Nicollet Mall will be undergoing complete reconstruction in the coming years.

In the city's analysis of the various works of public art on Nicollet Mall (link: http://minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/pub ... 138120.pdf) damage by skateboarders is noted as an issue with the work. Additionally, it's identity seems to be viewed as below average by the general public.

As someone who has been skateboarding and documenting it on video in Minneapolis for the past fifteen years, I am interested in the artists perspective on how this sculpture is used in an alternative manner. Below are a few video clips that show the various ways skateboarders have creatively adapted the urban environment to a playground of sorts:

http://youtu.be/Mc8MzzzTlnc?t=5m59s
http://youtu.be/Mc8MzzzTlnc?t=11m15s
http://youtu.be/kcZfaDfBd_c?t=5m10s

I was slightly irritated that the city's analysis cited the damage by skateboarders as a liability, as within the skateboard community, this is one of Minneapolis' most iconic and identifiable skate spots. The damage is minimal and only goes as far as a few scuff marks on some of the edges.

I would love to see this bench relocated to space that welcomes its public use for both sitting on and skateboarding on. Ever since it was moved across the street by the library, it has become "unskateable" due to the uphill run-up and obstructions like lampposts and trash cans. It would be great to have this back as a part of Minneapolis' skate culture.

What are your general thoughts on people skateboarding on your art? Is it offensive and disrespectful or flattering and creative to you? What are your thoughts on this being moved to a location that would be more hospitable to a more flexible use, such as a park, where skateboarders would be just as welcome to use it as "sitters"?

Thanks for your time and for creating an iconic skate spot! I look forward to hearing back from you.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby talindsay » March 5th, 2015, 6:14 pm

<old man>
If people were performing beautiful jumps as public performance it would be great. Similarly, if street musicians were playing blues and filling the air with their sounds it would be great. The reality, of course, is that the "musicians" squawk out some noise occasionally in hopes of getting some money, and the skateboarders are flailing, crashing, and acting unpredictably most of the time. Here on the West Bank there are always kids on skateboards recording each other, and every ten seconds of footage similar to what you posted above represents hours of them flailing around in front of pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who are trying to use the public space. the "liability" factor comes from the skateboarder flailing all over the place and knocking somebody over, or breaking something. This is why we build skate parks, no?

Also, get off my lawn.
</old man>

Sorry for being all old man. But the characterization of "creative adaptation" into a "playground of sorts" doesn't capture the way it interacts with other uses, which is generally negative.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby PhilmerPhil » March 5th, 2015, 10:08 pm

I do see where you're coming from and even agree with you to some extent. However, that really is an old man perspective. We're constantly attracting interested spectators, striking up conversations with random people on the street, and more often than not, we're making use of public space that usually sits empty.

We generally don't break things or knock people over. As much as it seems like we're aimlessly flailing around, we really do have pretty good control of ourselves, and most of us do our best to respect the public and wait for the coast to be clear. Oftentimes someone is assigned to that task alone.

We do build skateparks--really bad ones. A quality skatepark in Minneapolis is slowly gaining momentum, but skateboarding is still wholly proportionally underrepresented in the general recreational offerings of the park board.

Overall, I think the benefits skateboarding provides to the individual--cultural exposure, creativity, street smarts, urban exploration, dealing with/standing up to authority, physical activity, sense of community--probably outweigh the nuisance aspect that many perceive it to be.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby talindsay » March 6th, 2015, 10:08 am

It's totally an old man perspective ;-) I appreciate your seriously considering the points regardless.

The quality-of-skateparks issue isn't one for the Nicollet Mall thread, but I agree it should be addressed. To prove I'm not actually an old man:

In Brussels there's an amazing skate park - the Skatepark des Ursulines - that's been built over a recessed highway and rail trench. We sat and watched for a good hour while we ate lunch, and with the large amount of space and the heavy activity it was fun to watch what people were doing. It attracted everything from 4-year-olds on razor scooters to 50-year-olds on bicycles but had a small core of actually good skaters who were practicing things in the midst of the chaos. It was interesting to watch, and a successful public space in many ways. We weren't the only long-term spectators, and the cafés immediately around it seemed to have a pretty good business too.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Didier » March 6th, 2015, 10:53 am

Eh. Sounds French.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Wedgeguy » March 6th, 2015, 1:29 pm

talindsay wrote:It's totally an old man perspective ;-) I appreciate your seriously considering the points regardless.

The quality-of-skateparks issue isn't one for the Nicollet Mall thread, but I agree it should be addressed. To prove I'm not actually an old man:

In Brussels there's an amazing skate park - the Skatepark des Ursulines - that's been built over a recessed highway and rail trench. We sat and watched for a good hour while we ate lunch, and with the large amount of space and the heavy activity it was fun to watch what people were doing. It attracted everything from 4-year-olds on razor scooters to 50-year-olds on bicycles but had a small core of actually good skaters who were practicing things in the midst of the chaos. It was interesting to watch, and a successful public space in many ways. We weren't the only long-term spectators, and the cafés immediately around it seemed to have a pretty good business too.
There is a beautiful Viaduct on the west side that could easily fit a skateboard park under it. The land would finally have a real purpose.


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