Montage (Nye's redevelopment) - 116 E Hennepin Avenue

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
grant1simons2
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby grant1simons2 » December 2nd, 2014, 6:30 pm

Let the news keep rolling, looks like the Nye's owners DID partner with Schafer for a development! Wow!

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/n ... tower.html

Matt wins the prize for guessing this in the Strib comment section

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Silophant » December 2nd, 2014, 6:39 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:Here we have a pedestrian-friendly building with an active use. Meanwhile, across the street is one of those clever towers on a podium. It has tinted glass windows, set behind planter boxes, with no flippin sidewalk on the street.
In the summer, I would sometimes take a long lunch and walk across the river to find something to eat, and I always wondered how the Falls/Pinnacle got away with not putting a sidewalk on Hennepin, of all streets. Unless that little two-foot-wide strip counts.
BizJournal Article wrote:Though the number of units has not yet been determined, the project would be well over six stories tall.
If they're tearing down something like Nye's for it, it damn well better not be another Red20.

grant1simons2
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby grant1simons2 » December 2nd, 2014, 6:49 pm

Word is that it's something closer to 25-30 stories. I think they should build around the site, just taking out of part of the building. Like this:
ImageNye'sTower by grant.simons, on Flickr

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby EOst » December 2nd, 2014, 7:07 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:Here we have a pedestrian-friendly building with an active use. Meanwhile, across the street is one of those clever towers on a podium. It has tinted glass windows, set behind planter boxes, with no flippin sidewalk on the street.
Gonna go out on a limb and say we'll get something better than that, at least.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2014, 8:15 pm


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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Chef » December 2nd, 2014, 8:54 pm

This is going to be a real test of whether historic preservation means anything in this city. There is no way they should be allowed to demolish those buildings. Given the fact that Nye's was an iconic business in Minneapolis, I predict a political fight that will rise to the level a "big deal". It is like tearing down First Avenue.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2014, 9:30 pm

Well, sort of. While Nye's may be viewed as a cultural icon, the period of significance for the St. Anthony Falls Historic District precedes Nye's existence. Nye's didn't exist until 1950. If the buildings are going to be deemed historic structures and preserved, Nye's can't be the sole justification. That would not be in keeping with our historic preservation ordinances. I do find it really strange that they aren't listed as contributing structures to the historic district though...I mean what's the point if it doesn't include all buildings from the period of significance? They're right there at the foot of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge...how are they not contributing?

If it's not clear from that comment, I do support the idea of preserving the actual historic buildings (the two and three story portions of Nye's), but I don't support preserving "Nye's" (the business) per se, as in the entire complex or "brand".

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Silophant » December 2nd, 2014, 9:32 pm

I'm wondering if the early announcement of the bar's closing was an attempt to avoid a Venue at Dinkytown situation, with that persistent "ZOMG evuuul developers are killing beloved neighborhood businesses that I'm sure are raking in the dough, despite all actual evidence to the contrary!" meme.

Like people are noting above, only about 20% of this half-block is actual historic building, albeit in two non-adjacent parts. Seems like it wouldn't be too difficult to incorporate the facades, at a bare minimum.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Chef » December 2nd, 2014, 9:44 pm

Silophant wrote:I'm wondering if the early announcement of the bar's closing was an attempt to avoid a Venue at Dinkytown situation, with that persistent "ZOMG evuuul developers are killing beloved neighborhood businesses that I'm sure are raking in the dough, despite all actual evidence to the contrary!" meme.
Unless you have seen their P&L you have no idea how they are actually doing. A more cynical (and probably more accurate) take is that they decided they could make more money by redeveloping the property than they ever could from operating Nye's, and the announcement was made that they were closing to try to drum up as much "one last time" business as possible. They may be closing the business to redevelop the property, but until it is actually closed they want as much volume as they can get - a win/win from a business perspective.


Remember, lying to reporters isn't perjury. People in the restaurant business do it all the time, I would imagine developers and people in other businesses do as well. It is called spin.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2014, 10:27 pm

Gonna need some seanrichardryan expertise on the historic stuff.

Here's what I've found:

Property: Minneapolis Brewing Co. Tavern
Address: 112 Hennepin Ave. E.
National Register Contribution: ?
Date: 1907

Property: Harness Shop
Address: 116 Hennepin Ave. E.
National Register Contribution: ?
Date: 1905

http://nrhp.mnhs.org/DistrictProperties ... m=71000438

I added the "?"s where there were simply blanks on the website. I take it to mean that these are not contributing structures as far as the national designation is concerned. What does that mean for local designation/protection though? Are these buildings not in any way specifically protected other than that they're located in a historic district and are from the period of significance?

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby FISHMANPET » December 2nd, 2014, 10:34 pm

I'm on my phone, but I think there's a way to find the the original listing documents. It involves downloading an excel file of all historic properties and then the spreadsheet has a link to PDFs of the listing documents. I was able to find them for the lumber exchange, for example, but I don't know how it works for districts rather than properties.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby seanrichardryan » December 2nd, 2014, 10:51 pm

No supporting documents here, but architects listed.

http://nrhp.mnhs.org/DistrictPropDetail ... ictID=5400

http://nrhp.mnhs.org/DistrictPropDetail ... ictID=5399

FMP: here is the spreadsheet you're referring to- http://www.nps.gov/nr/research/data_dow ... links.xlsx

Boehme & Cordella built the original Nye's and also the adjacent parsonage for Our Lady of Lourdes, as well a billions of other taverns around town.

They are contributing structures, but not individually listed.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby seanrichardryan » December 2nd, 2014, 11:11 pm

Also, this. Quite a lot of context was lost during the 'Riverplace!' years.

http://slingshotannie.tumblr.com/post/1 ... is-closing
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Mcgizz » December 2nd, 2014, 11:39 pm

There are some important things that have been said about these buildings and some important things that have not been said. Firstly, as twincitizen said earlier in the thread
While Nye's may be viewed as a cultural icon, the period of significance for the St. Anthony Falls Historic District precedes Nye's existence. Nye's didn't exist until 1950. If the buildings are going to be deemed historic structures and preserved, Nye's can't be the sole justification. That would not be in keeping with our historic preservation ordinances. I do find it really strange that they aren't listed as contributing structures to the historic district though...I mean what's the point if it doesn't include all buildings from the period of significance? They're right there at the foot of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge...how are they not contributing?
These buildings are historic to many people alive today because of the establishment Nye's, however, that being said Nye's history comes from what is inside these buildings. On the outside is a ground level that is fairly nondescript and to be honest slightly insulting to history. There is nothing historical about mid twentieth century wood paneling. To make my self clear I'm not an opponent of historical preservation. To the contrary, I in fact think it is very important. Historical preservation has its place. We should be preserving history that is architecturally important or where an institution that was/is deemed historically important was housed within. I cannot see how these hodgepodge of buildings can be deemed historical when there is little to no architectural historical component left or worthy to be preserved. The idea of Nye's is worth remembering as the developers and the owners say. How to remember that is what we should be focusing on. The Historic Preservation Commission does claim that
To be considered for designation, a building or district must represent and reflect elements of the city’s culture, social, economic, religious, political, architectural, or aesthetic heritage.
I suppose one could argue that Nye's does fit that category under the culture or social elements, but requesting or forcing the developer to preserve two buildings that don't really work for their plans as they have stated just so people 25, 50, or 100 years can remember Nye's may not be the best way to spend our Historic Preservation Commission capital.


Also these buildings are not anchoring the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, they are playing second fiddle in that regard. The two ugly Riverplace "compounds" are our Hennepin Avenue Bridge anchors. Anything being developed behind the smaller Riverside building could only help alleviate the tackiness that already exists at our "gateway to Northeast".

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby FISHMANPET » December 3rd, 2014, 12:01 am

Don't worry guys, MRRDC has discovered that Nye's is closing and they are ON IT.

Generally I have a hard time with "preserving" a business, mostly because I have no idea how you would do it. The owners of Nye's are under no legal obligation to run the business, HPC has no authority to force anyone to run the business. The owners can lock the door after bar close tonight and throw a chain around the door and walk away. Even if the buildings themselves were historic or contributing structures, is there anything legally compelling them to maintain the buildings.

So basically businesses aren't eligible for historic preservation and the mechanics of "preserving" a business would be incredibly onerous.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Chef » December 3rd, 2014, 12:15 am

Most of these discussions that we have had in our community have been between developers, urbanism nerds, historic preservationists, and neighborhood NIMBY groups. All of which represent a very small slice of the greater society of Minneapolis. Regardless of the specifics of historic districts, this thing is going to be an entirely different ball of wax politically, because every voter in the city is going to have an opinion.

From a tactical, political standpoint, the demolition of these buildings could be a very bad thing for those of us who want increased density and urbanity because it has the potential to act as a lightning rod and turn the broader community against us. There is little that can be done to preserve the business if the owners want to close, but bringing down the buildings is dangerous symbolism.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby mullen » December 3rd, 2014, 7:11 am

gee a tower of 10 or 20 stories and more density. but what will it look like?
unless you get jean nouvel, cesar pelli or someone who has an eye for design of towers i have little hope. the majority of new architecture in this town has been pedestrian at best and that's being generous. meanwhile minneapolis loses more of what makes it unique. well at least we have the parks and lakes, right.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby MplsSteve » December 3rd, 2014, 7:57 am

Last year the HPC voted to deny a demolition permit to a very similar building at 1500 6th street S. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/meeting ... S1P-114102

That building was originally built as a Saloon for the Gluek Brewing Company in 1903 and designed by Boehme and Cordella, while the Nye's corner building was built in 1905 as a saloon for the Minneapolis Brewing Co. and also designed by Boehme and Cordella. Seems like the HPC would have a hard time approving the demo of the Nye's building based on their earlier decision (but then they've been inconsistent in the past). Personally I really don't have strong feelings either way for Nye's as a business. We've certainly lost some far more iconic businesses before this. I do however strongly feel that the two historic buildings on the property should be preserved. Part of the significance of the East Hennepin commercial corridor is that a fair number of original buildings have survived. Unfortunately quite a few have also been torn down, to the point where the area really can't afford to loose any more. I also can't see how a 20-30 story building could not have a negative impact on Our Lady of Lourdes church.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby woofner » December 3rd, 2014, 8:11 am

The Council then overrode the decision for 1500 6th St S. It would probably be more difficult politically to do the same for the Nye's buildings, of course.
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Silophant » December 3rd, 2014, 8:38 am

Maybe I've just missed some stuff because it wasn't controversial, but has the HPC ever voted to demolish anything? I'm glad the Council can overrule them, or the city might as well be frozen in carbonite. This isn't to say that I wouldn't like to see the historic buildings preserved- I do!

As far as the church, I think as long as the bulk of the building is oriented more to the Hennepin/2nd corner (the current parking lot) it won't be too affected. It is very near the downtown of a major city, after all. It's unreasonable to expect it to be the tallest thing in its area.


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