TCSidewalks Live!: Common Room Tour of the Skyways this Wednesday

Following up on last year's surprisingly popular Minneapolis sidewalk tour, I'm doubling down on the Common Room event series run by the ever-fabulous Soap Factory gallery in St Anthony Main.

[Highlights include this beige area.]
Co-organizers Sergio Vucci and Andy Sturdevant asked me to lead a tour of Minneapolis notoriously quasi-non-controversial skyway system. Provided we can actually find a working entrance, I'm excited to do it! I've love/hated the skyways for a long time, and now I'll get to share my love/hate with you. (Mostly hate, actually.)

The tour will feature:
  • The skyway system's origin myth vs. its actual macculate conception
  • The site of the first skyway in Minneapolis (no longer extant)
  • The site of the second skyway in Minneapolis (extant)
  • Willam H. Whyte's thoughts on the IDS Crystal Court
  • The longest skyway
  • The ugliest skyway
  • The place in the skyways where homeless people can sit
  • The skyway to nowhere
  • Whatever's left of "Block E"
  • The never-ending legacy of Victor Gruen

Expect the forlorn, because nothing is more forlorn that the Minneapolis skyway system in the evening on a Tuesday.

Meet up at the Soap Factory at 6:30! Look to arrive back by 9:00. The tour will be a walking tour! Don't forget to bring your social stratification.


In my opinion, the Minneapolis skyway system is the closest the USA has gotten to this Popular Science vision of the "city of the future" from 1925.

This is their description of the streets:
“Future city streets, says Mr. Corbett, will be in four levels: The top level for pedestrians; the next lower level for slow motor traffic; the next for fast motor traffic, and the lowest for electric trains. Great blocks of terraced skyscrapers half a mile high will house offices, schools, homes, and playgrounds in successive levels, while the roofs will be airplane landing fields, according to the architect’s plan.” (from here.)


Unknown said...

Block E!

Alex said...

You appear to be linking to the 2009 schedule. Try this one instead:


Bill Lindeke said...

Typical. Juuust typical.