Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

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spectre000
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby spectre000 » June 20th, 2012, 8:27 am

It was more like 800 feet. It was proposed about 10-15 years ago. Some proposed placing it in Cleveland Circle next to the Xcel. One idea was to build it on the Sears parking lot near the Capital.

retiredbanker
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby retiredbanker » June 20th, 2012, 10:46 am

612transplant, I'm not all that well-acquainted with what was called the 7 Corners Sky Tower for St. Paul. There are many knowledgeable individuals on urbanmsp that might be able to assist you more than I on this subject. According to the skyscraperpage database, 7 Corners Sky Tower was to be an observation tower of 909'. And like spectre000 mentioned, it had multiple possible locations. Perhaps, if you went to the city building office in St. Paul, they might be able to provide you with more information, maybe even the St. Paul Public Library reference department. If you find out anymore information on the 7 Corners Sky tower, please provide us on urbanmsp with the accurate data.

THERAT
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby THERAT » June 20th, 2012, 2:59 pm

Larry Millet's book 'Lost Twin Cities' has a section unbuilt Twin Cities with a rendering of the tower you mention. It would have been near the river center parking ramp.

612transplant
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby 612transplant » June 20th, 2012, 4:52 pm

Thanks for the info, folks-- I knew somebody here would know something.
THERAT wrote:Larry Millet's book 'Lost Twin Cities' has a section unbuilt Twin Cities with a rendering of the tower you mention. It would have been near the river center parking ramp.
THERAT, I assume this is separate from the more recent (10-15 year old) proposal Spectre mentions? I could've sworn it was an old, old proposal from way back when, and my familiarity with Larry Millet suggests that it might have been....or it could have been the more recent proposal mish-mashed into a PBS special with all of the other old, long-gone buildings and proposals and that's what's confusing me....

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby THERAT » June 21st, 2012, 11:09 am

During the Mayor Coleman years there was a proposal to have gondolas(skyride) from the Science Museum to Harriet Island. REALLY!! The skytower may have been tied in with that. I'll try to locate the article in the PP archives.

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spectre000
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby spectre000 » June 21st, 2012, 11:19 am

THERAT wrote:During the Mayor Coleman years there was a proposal to have gondolas(skyride) from the Science Museum to Harriet Island. REALLY!! The skytower may have been tied in with that. I'll try to locate the article in the PP archives.
Methinks that was just another one of Bill Hosko's "visions".

He was the one who proposed the tower to be built on the Sears lot. Imagine an 800 ft tower a stone's throw away from the capital building. Yeah right...

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby 612transplant » June 22nd, 2012, 10:49 am

I think I remember the skyride/gondolas....

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby 612transplant » June 22nd, 2012, 10:52 am

Here's a fun link:

http://www.angelfire.com/mn/dragonfire/talk4.html

#s 24 and 37 are most pertinent to our discussion here....but cool to see all of the "ambitious" proposals floating around St. Paul in the good ol' days...

612transplant
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby 612transplant » June 22nd, 2012, 11:04 am

More fun old links:

http://blogs.citypages.com/pdemko/2003/09/

Scroll down to the final blog entry for another of Hosko's failed downtown St. Paul proposals...

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby mulad » June 22nd, 2012, 11:24 am

Just since it's opening next week, I figured I'd mention London's new "Emirates Air Line" cable car, built as part of their run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympics. The most expensive cable car system ever built, according to Wikipedia (£60 million, or about US$94 million). Of course, I wouldn't advocate such a system here -- downtown Saint Paul has these fancy things called "bridges", which seem to be lacking in the spot where this new cable car has been built.

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby reeckman » June 22nd, 2012, 12:04 pm

I see "Explore Minnesota" commercials and it makes me wonder how effective it would be to actively promote downtown Minneapolis as a great and convenient place to live long term, using similar media.

I think a lot of these discussions are unified in the appreciation and ongoing improvement of Minneapolis. I'm learning a lot about the city's identity by reading these posts, and how it compares to other cities people love. How do we push this knowledge base and visions to the mass media? I believe that the promotion and convenience of a complete community will draw more people in permanently.

Including families. Moving to the suburbs was heavily promoted as the new modern choice generations ago. Since most kids go to daycare, isn't this vision outdated? Why not raise families downtown today? Do any new residential buildings promote/offer daycare? Are the public schools improving? trending upward?

THERAT
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby THERAT » June 22nd, 2012, 12:08 pm

Lets not forget about the People Mover in St Paul during the 70's.
http://www.citizensleague.org/publicati ... 20Paul.PDF

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby mulad » June 22nd, 2012, 12:46 pm

Wow! That's a new one for me -- of course, I was only months old when that was published...

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby nordeast homer » June 22nd, 2012, 2:10 pm

reeckman wrote:I see "Explore Minnesota" commercials and it makes me wonder how effective it would be to actively promote downtown Minneapolis as a great and convenient place to live long term, using similar media.

I think a lot of these discussions are unified in the appreciation and ongoing improvement of Minneapolis. I'm learning a lot about the city's identity by reading these posts, and how it compares to other cities people love. How do we push this knowledge base and visions to the mass media? I believe that the promotion and convenience of a complete community will draw more people in permanently.

Including families. Moving to the suburbs was heavily promoted as the new modern choice generations ago. Since most kids go to daycare, isn't this vision outdated? Why not raise families downtown today? Do any new residential buildings promote/offer daycare? Are the public schools improving? trending upward?
I know of a couple of residential buildings right off had that have daycare facilities in them in the downtown district.
Southwest H.S. in Minneapolis was ranked as the #1 high school in the state this year and was ranked highly nationally too!
(I have to brag, it's my alma mater...even if it has been 30 years)

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby Wedgeguy » June 22nd, 2012, 3:18 pm

nordeast homer wrote:
reeckman wrote:I see "Explore Minnesota" commercials and it makes me wonder how effective it would be to actively promote downtown Minneapolis as a great and convenient place to live long term, using similar media.

I think a lot of these discussions are unified in the appreciation and ongoing improvement of Minneapolis. I'm learning a lot about the city's identity by reading these posts, and how it compares to other cities people love. How do we push this knowledge base and visions to the mass media? I believe that the promotion and convenience of a complete community will draw more people in permanently.

Including families. Moving to the suburbs was heavily promoted as the new modern choice generations ago. Since most kids go to daycare, isn't this vision outdated? Why not raise families downtown today? Do any new residential buildings promote/offer daycare? Are the public schools improving? trending upward?
I know of a couple of residential buildings right off had that have daycare facilities in them in the downtown district.
Southwest H.S. in Minneapolis was ranked as the #1 high school in the state this year and was ranked highly nationally too!


There are a few different buildings with daycare. LAurel Village has daycare there on Hennepin. There is some daycare up in the Warehouse district as I have seen them leading the kids around on walks. So it is there and can always be increased if need be.
(I have to brag, it's my alma mater...even if it has been 30 years)

spearson
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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby spearson » July 9th, 2012, 4:05 pm

My dream? Slow Urban Sprawl. LRT's into the suburbs are going to be a waste of money, and more lanes on the interstates and major hwy's are just going to push people further out and create more traffic. Instead spend the money building intra city transit within the downtowns, and improving road corridors within the 494/694 loop. I would love to see a full grade separated rail transit system in both downtowns that stretch into the outskirts, but that is a pipe dream that will never happen here.

So what I want is:
- a streetcar system is the cheapest of all the rail options, and outside of rush hour congestion, they would pretty much have zero congestion to deal with 80% of the day. Intra-city transit would make residential living much more inviting, it would create new development and might actually create street life again downtown. Lets face it, we're never going to be a NYC or even a Chicago as far as size goes, but we could at least work on maximizing street life and consumer spending within our small downtowns.

- commercial space to move from the skyway to the street level. The skyway is meant to connect buildings, not replace the street. Street level is where most commercial space should be, the skyway kills street activity, and I hate it.

- If there is going to be any other future LRT, it should probably be between St. Paul and the airport and we should leave it at that. That would make our two major cities connected to each other and the main transportation hub.

- Commuter rail. Before additional commuter rail is added, I would rather see the line the Northstar uses get expanded so it could provide a better route schedule. It currently uses the busiest freight line in the state and is limited to how often it can run and I think that hurts it's ridership numbers.

In a nutshell, I don't think any of this will ever happen. Suburban living is going to rule the Twin Cities forever, congestion will never improve, and Minneapolis will always turn into a ghost town after the evening rush hour (except for parts of first ave and henn. ave of course).

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby mulad » July 9th, 2012, 5:22 pm

Sounds good. I'd tweak that idea a bit by replacing some of the LRT proposals with relatively short-distance yet high-frequency, electrified commuter rail. Routes like Southwest and Bottineau are already going in freight corridors for the most part, so why couldn't we have just tried to make the existing infrastructure better rather than basically replacing it with something incompatible and redundant? If the D1 alternative is chosen for Bottineau, is it really any better than just running trains on the freight corridor up to Osseo and back?

Hmm, I think I've found a new article idea for my blog...

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby mattaudio » July 10th, 2012, 10:52 am

My hypothetical for Northstar?
Repurpose it as regional rail. Departures from STC and Mpls every two hours.

Maybe leaving STC at 5 AM, 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30, 8, 10, Noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Leaving Mpls at 5, 7, 9, 11, 1, 3, 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6, 7, 9, 11

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby writruth » July 10th, 2012, 12:06 pm

Matt's suggestion makes a lot of sense. I still believe the two biggest problems stifling ridership on the line is it's irregular schedule and it fails to reach the population center in St. Cloud. Matt's idea fixes both problems. The completion of the Central and Southwest LRT lines would also add to the ridership volume if Northstar was extended to St. Cloud and ran all day on an hourly or bi-hour schedule.

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Re: Minneapolis & St. Paul Fantasies and Speculations

Postby mattaudio » July 10th, 2012, 1:28 pm

Going from 6 to 12 round trips per day would be so beneficial if they were spread out, but people already have valid complaints about Northstar. I bet they could even run this schedule with the existing rolling stock.


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