Peavey Plaza Now a Historical Site: Redo Plans Charge On

As Minneapolis moves forward with its long-standing plans to demolish downtown’s Peavey Plaza, opponents are rejoicing over its recent listing as a historical site, which they believe will help save the space.

As the Star Tribune reports, the plaza has just been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but what this means for the fate of the site remains unclear. The city issued a statement saying they will continue on with plans to demolish as scheduled, while those in favor of preserving the plaza consider its newfound historical recognition a major victory. Neither side will know the fate of their efforts until their upcoming litigation in February and impending trial in June.

Plans to scrap the site for something new were initiated more than two years ago, when city planners first criticized the plaza’s lack of wheelchair accessibility and poor design; they cite its many “seemingly hidden spaces” as major factors in its high crime rates. Meanwhile, as we noted this May, opponents have been busy urging the city to consider Peavey’s significance as a feature of modernist architecture. Designed in 1975 by landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, the plaza contains both paved and green space as well as amphitheater-like seating, making it one of the first “park plazas” of its kind.