Washington Square - 20, 100, 111 Washington Avenue S

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kirby96
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby kirby96 » September 7th, 2016, 10:51 am

DanB wrote:I wonder if it would be possible to rotate 20 Washington 90 degrees and push it up against Marquette. That would would at least allow some development on that block and also allow for the possibility of running Nicollet through to a reconnected 2nd street.
..and also flip 100 and 111 upside down. That would vastly improve the streetscape issue.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby seanrichardryan » September 7th, 2016, 11:14 am

The building is 300' long. It would easily fit on the lot if moved towards Marquette onto the current surface lot. A reopened Nicollet would still allow for a 325' frontage along Washington. But this really is a fantasy exercise.
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grant1simons2
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby grant1simons2 » September 7th, 2016, 11:20 am

Gut everything but the lobby, keep the exterior, remove the middle, build around it.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby EOst » September 7th, 2016, 11:30 am

The building was designed for its colonnade to frame the view down Nicollet; moving it would really lessen its value.

With towers on the Ritz, Nicollet Hotel, and (probably) Eclipse blocks, this area will feel miles different. There will soon be protected bike lanes on both Washington and Hennepin. The Post Office is going to leave sooner or later. Gateway Park is due for an upgrade, and the post office ramp would make a great gateway to the river. That's just the kind of environment that would make this building (and its wonderful modernist water features!) special.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby Silophant » September 7th, 2016, 11:35 am

The issue there is that the tennis courts and adjacent parking lot are part of the Towers complex.

Measuring it out on Google Earth, looks like you could shift 20 Washington straight down Washington into its own surface lot, and gain to for Nicollet to pass through that way.

Glossing over the issues caused by the underground garage, of course.

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Avian
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby Avian » September 7th, 2016, 1:15 pm

I find it really, really odd for many of you to advocate running Nicollet through the 20 Washington site. Really odd.

Mainly because a lot of you also advocate for Nicollet as a pedestrian-only street. Well, hello, that's exactly what is running through the 20 Washington site right now: a pedestrian version of Nicollet Mall. Yamasaki's portico is literally the gateway to Nicollet.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
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grant1simons2
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby grant1simons2 » September 7th, 2016, 1:26 pm

I get a lot of questions on the street about where Nicollet is once people get off of the riverfront and onto Hennepin. So we could either make some frequent way finding with lots of turns. OR! Make the connection natural.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby amiller92 » September 7th, 2016, 1:36 pm

Avian wrote:Well, hello, that's exactly what is running through the 20 Washington site right now: a pedestrian version of Nicollet Mall.
Is it? Streets (well, at least in this country) rarely involve stairs, much less stairs that are not required by the terrain. Streets are generally not private property. Perhaps it's meant to frame the view down Nicollet, but as is, few actually get to see it that way.

Anyway, I like that building, although looking at it in hindsight, I would like it better if it abutted Marquette, the portico didn't block the line of Nicollet, and the park (1) extended all the way to Washington, and (2) was more useful as park space. Of course, none of that is happening, but 20 Washington could perhaps make some progress in redesigning its grassy lawn, but won't.

It will be an interesting one if there's ever a proposal to redevelop. As I look at it, if it was a library or a museum or something otherwise open to the public, it would make a lot more sense/be easier to preserve.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby mattaudio » September 7th, 2016, 1:47 pm

Yeah, that needs some serious fixin. I was walking with my son in a stroller from NE (CennHenn?) to the Blue Line. I thought it would be great to walk down "Fake Nicollet" to Washington, but then ran into the stairs by the fountain. I detoured west to Hennepin, which added almost two blocks to my journey.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby seanrichardryan » September 7th, 2016, 3:16 pm

The stairs are quite a hinderance to bicycles too.
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby twincitizen » September 7th, 2016, 3:46 pm

The primary issue for me is not visual appearance, bike/ped/ADA accessibility, or anything like that. My primary displeasure with 20 Washington (and the others, to a lesser extent) is the terrible, nonexistent street frontage. 20 Washington is a complete disaster for the street life on Hennepin and on Washington (and I guess Nicollet too if you want to get technical). It's a suburban office park building dropped onto an entire city block in a very critical area for downtown's vitality. There's no fixing that. It has to go.

FWIW, I think the idea of moving the colonnade or rotating the building, while fun to visualize, is 100% fantasy-land and way less likely than simply tearing the whole building down.

grant1simons2
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby grant1simons2 » September 7th, 2016, 4:02 pm

There's plenty of room to build in front of the building right now! If we really want a street front, this isn't the building to do it. This building should be looked at and admired as an a piece of art, and not a set example of how buildings should be designed in cities. Minneapolis already lacks in public art downtown, the least we can do it preserve the buildings that attempt to make themselves stick out.

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby BoredAgain » September 7th, 2016, 4:11 pm

twincitizen wrote:The primary issue for me is not visual appearance, bike/ped/ADA accessibility, or anything like that. My primary displeasure with 20 Washington (and the others, to a lesser extent) is the terrible, nonexistent street frontage. 20 Washington is a complete disaster for the street life on Hennepin and on Washington (and I guess Nicollet too if you want to get technical). It's a suburban office park building dropped onto an entire city block in a very critical area for downtown's vitality. There's no fixing that. It has to go.

FWIW, I think the idea of moving the colonnade or rotating the building, while fun to visualize, is 100% fantasy-land and way less likely than simply tearing the whole building down.
I disagree. The Hennepin and Marquette street frontages could be activated easily if we sacrifice under-used green space and under-used surface parking. The Nicollet "Frontage" could be active if there were an active use in the portico (I think a patio restaurant would be great). The Washington Frontage is more difficult to activate, but it is at least reasonably attractive. It's not like you're walking past a surface parking lot (across the street west of Nicollet though soon to change) or a 6 foot high retaining wall ( across the street and east of Nicollet)

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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby EOst » September 7th, 2016, 4:34 pm

By your logic twincitizen, the best place for Minneapolis to build its new office tower would be on the ruins of the Municipal Building. After all, that old castle has terrible sidewalks and absolutely no street-level retail!

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Nathan
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby Nathan » September 7th, 2016, 8:46 pm

twincitizen wrote:The primary issue for me is not visual appearance, bike/ped/ADA accessibility, or anything like that. My primary displeasure with 20 Washington (and the others, to a lesser extent) is the terrible, nonexistent street frontage. 20 Washington is a complete disaster for the street life on Hennepin and on Washington (and I guess Nicollet too if you want to get technical). It's a suburban office park building dropped onto an entire city block in a very critical area for downtown's vitality. There's no fixing that. It has to go.

FWIW, I think the idea of moving the colonnade or rotating the building, while fun to visualize, is 100% fantasy-land and way less likely than simply tearing the whole building down.
So the city hall, post office, and other such buildings have to go as well?

grant1simons2
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby grant1simons2 » September 11th, 2016, 8:40 pm


VAStationDude
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby VAStationDude » September 12th, 2016, 2:09 pm

I'm going to miss the windswept overhang and elegant brown green clad window less lobby.

grant1simons2
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby grant1simons2 » October 6th, 2016, 5:29 pm


nBode
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Re: Washington Square buildings (20, 100, 111 Washington Ave S)

Postby nBode » October 7th, 2016, 8:18 am

oops they lost a bit of the sidewalk there

karlshea
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Re: Washington Square - 20, 100, 111 Washington Avenue S

Postby karlshea » October 7th, 2016, 8:32 pm

Yeah, wtf? I mean that looks nice but I don't really get what they're going for.


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