Other Art / Architecture / Musuems, Minneapolis

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  • Stairway, Rand Tower
    Stairway, Rand Tower
    by goodfish
  • "Wings", Rand Tower, MN
    by goodfish
  • Exterior, Rand Tower, MN
    Exterior, Rand Tower, MN
    by goodfish
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    Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Chapel

    by goodfish Updated Jan 28, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This Byzantine-style chapel alone is worth a trip to Lakewood Cemetery. Built in 1908/09, it has brilliant interior mosaics that were artisan-created in Italy from Venetian glass. Art Nouveau windows and floor lamps, copper doors and marble floors add warmth and richness to the glittering rainbow of color from 10 million tiny tessalle of glass that cover the walls and dome. The chapel and administration building provide free pamphlets, with beautiful photography, which explain the symbolism behind the patterns, angels and other figures illustrated in the mosaics.

    The chapel is usually open during regular Lakewood Cemetery hours but as it's used for funeral services, you may want to call ahead for that day's visiting schedule. Combine this with a walk in the cemetery (see previous tip) for a nice little bit of solitude.

    Lakewood Memorial Chapel
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    Wesley United Methodist Church

    by goodfish Updated Nov 3, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is another imposing structure on the National List of Historic Places. Originally Wesley Episcopal Methodist Church, it was built in 1891 in the distinctive, roughcut Richardsonian Romanesque style that you see here and there throughout older parts of the Twin Cities. The architect, Warren Howard Hayes, was known for pioneering a unique, diagonal sanctuary design that provides excellent sight lines and "hear a pin drop" acoustics. The interior has been virtually unaltered since its original construction, has some beautiful woodwork, and an unusual undulated balcony. It also has 32 early Tiffany windows, and a skylight that was the largest Tiffany had produced at that time. An exterior tower measuring 137 feet - the highest in the city - was destroyed in a 1949 windstorm and never replaced.

    Over the decades, the congregation - once numbering several thousand - moved to the outer suburbs and today the building is in the process of becoming a multi-use facility for weddings and events as well as a spiritual center for recovering addicts. I pushed the buzzer on the side door to ask about a look-see and was admitted and shown about by a knowledgeable site manager pleased to have an interested visitor.

    One particular note of interest: one of the early members was a Marion W. Savage, owner of the storied harness horse Dan Patch. It's said that the very Methodist Mr. Savage refused to race Dan on Sundays, and donated a large part of his winnings to the church's upkeep. Dan, the "King of Pacers" died in July of 1916 and his ill and broken-hearted owner followed him to the grave a mere 24 hours later.

    This website has a sketch of the exterior with the original tower and a layout of the interior:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wesley_M_E_Church,_Minneapolis,_Minn.jpg

    The website below is for booking weddings but provides some better photography of the interior than mine. Best time of catching someone there to let you in is probably daylight hours on a weekday, or give them a call.

    Wesley United Methodist Tiffany dome, Wesley United Methodist One of 32 Tiffany Windows Sanctuary, Wesley United Methodist church Sanctuary, Wesley United Methodist church
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    The Crèches of Westminster Presbyterian

    by goodfish Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    I wrote about the church in a previous tip but this is a nice little bonus for Christmas fans of all ages. Upstairs on the second floor are glass display cases filled with 200 crèches from 80 different countries, lovingly collected by member Mary Spencer Rogers and given as a gift to the church in 2002. The wonderful variety of styles and mediums reflect the congregation's respect and acceptance of diverse races, lifestyles and cultures and are great fun for a look-see.

    In the room outside the curator's office downstairs (just ask where to find it) are a few more as well as a delightful display of Noah's Arks that they're just starting to collect. Bring the kids - they'll love it!

    (Sorry the shots are a little fuzzy; it was a pain shooting through the glass)

    Sri Lanka Mexico Italy Colombia
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    Westminster Presbyterian Church

    by goodfish Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    This is an old and interesting downtown church that is actually the third building for this congregation. Built in 1897 and on the National Registry of Historic Places, the semi-circular sanctuary symbolically embraces the pulpit and altar, has a lovely, delicate skylight and beautiful windows. The largest Rose Window is 16 feet across and constructed of over 4,000 pieces of glass. Tucked away in another part of the complex is an intimate little chapel with nice windows as well. Along the hallways and in a gallery near the chapel are displayed works of art that reflect the church's commitment to a joyful, peaceful world - both locally and globally.

    True to their mission, a press of the buzzer (most downtown churches are locked between services) had this curiosity seeker cheerfully admitted to enjoy the art and architecture to her heart's content. The curator even scurried around flipping light switches and pointing her in the direction of treasures not to be missed. One of those is a very large and absolutely charming collection of crèches from all over the world. They deserve a special mention so I've followed up with more on those in a separate tip.

    Really nice people, these folks. Regardless of your affiliation or lifestyle, if you're in Minneapolis on a Sunday and looking for some fellowship, stop by: you'll find a warm welcome here. See the website for services and more information, and look for the self-guided tour brochure you can download before your visit.

    Westminster Presbyterian Church, Mpls Sanctuary Sanctuary and Rose Window Chapel
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    A Little Art Deco

    by goodfish Updated Mar 18, 2013

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    If in the downtown area, architecture lovers should make a stop through this historic landmark. Rand Tower is an Art Deco gem that was built in 1929 by WW1 aviator/businessman Rufus. R. Rand. The limestone exterior features hand-carved images that highlight Rand's love of flying and that same theme is carried throughout the interior detailing. "Wings", the statue in the small lobby (the only interior section open to the public), was crafted by Oskar J.W. Hansen - who was also commissioned to sculpt 40 colossal figures for Hoover Dam.

    Rand Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

    Exterior Detail, Rand Tower, MN Elevator, Rand Tower, MN Stairway, Rand Tower Exterior, Rand Tower, MN
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    The Stone Arch Bridge

    by Aprl24 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Stone Arch Bridge spans the Mississippi River just south of the St. Anthony Falls and provides some spectacular views of the river, the downtown Minneapolis Skyline, the Mill City Warehouse District and sadly, the remains of the I-35W bridge collapse site.

    Originally a railroad bridge, the Stone Arch is now open to pedestrians, bikers, Segways and the River City Trolley. You can also reach the two-mile St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail from the Stone Arch Bridge where you can walk along the banks of the Mississippi and explore the beautiful islands and wooded areas surrounded by the riverfront.

    The Stone Arch Bridge. People viewing the remains of the I-35W Bridge. Downtown Minneapolis and St. Anthony Falls. St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail leading to river.
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    James J Hill House

    by soultrvl Updated Oct 26, 2010

    James J Hill house tour. Fun, especially if you like old mansions. Tells the the early story of the Hills. Especially fun and spooky are the the Halloween activities- such as the ghost story reading by costumed employees, followed up with apple cider and a tour of the mansion!
    Also consider one of the walking tours http://www.midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/history_heritage/historic_houses/summit_avenue_st_paul.html.

    Great way to spend an afternoon with family or a friend. Culture & history right here in Minnesota!

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    Mill City Museum and Ruins

    by Aprl24 Updated Aug 11, 2007

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    Minneapolis was once known as "Mill City" for it's impact on the world's flour industry. The museum not only pays hommage to this rich history, but it gives visitors an interactive museum experience.

    You can even have a child's birthday party here, or hold a wedding in the Ruins.

    Mill City Museum and Ruins A wedding party outside the Ruins.
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    Mill City Museum

    by zwei618 Written Jan 9, 2007

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    We love this place....spooky shells of exploded buildings...tales of horrible death..recreated explosions.....scary tours in elevators....the Pillsbury Dough boy....the baking lab (yum) and lots of playing in water.

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    Mill City Museum

    by zwei618 Written Jan 9, 2007

    We love this place....spooky shells of exploded buildings...tales of horrible death..recreated explosions.....scary tours in elevators....the Pillsbury Dough boy....the baking lab (yum) and lots of playing in water.

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    Minnesota Children's Museum

    by zwei618 Updated Jan 8, 2007

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    This place is a bit expensive...so we go on the third Sunday of the month which is FREE DAY!!
    Come early because everybody and their Uncle Charlie visit on "Third Free Sunday"!

    There are all kinds of interesting things for children to see and do. They can pretend to be an ant,make weather,work with large machines or make recycled paper. There is even a special area for the little ones ages 6 months-3 years called "Habitot". You can probably read a book or two while they frolic about.

    The exhibits change every few months so check their website for details.

    Overlooking The Story Area I love water!!! Inside Habitot
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    The Bakken

    by zwei618 Updated Jan 8, 2007

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    This is a great place to bring YOUR science fanatic! The main theme is electricity but there are many other things to see.

    They even had a Harry Potter party in the summer of 2003 to celebrate the release of book #5 and a pirate party in the summer of 2006 to celebrate the release of POC #2 : Dead Man's Chest.

    There's always something new going on and they even have special programs for Girl Scouts who are working on science badges!

    Pirate Party 2006 Harry Potter Party 2003
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    The Raptor Center

    by zwei618 Updated Jan 7, 2007

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    The University of Minnesota has an excellent College of Veterinary Medicine...and this is a wonderful educational center about raptors and other birds of prey.

    They have open houses every once in awhile and it's great opportunity to meet the animals,see falconry demos,play games, do crafts,ask questions,get your face painting and have a few treats.

    Halloween 2003
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    Science Museum of Minnesota

    by zwei618 Updated Jan 7, 2007

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    Minnesota's LARGEST museum equipped with HUGE omnitheater and laser show auditoriums, a mock river barge, collector's gallery(trade in stuff you find for stuff you don't have) mock Hmong village, gift shoppe (with astronaut ice cream) the Mississippi River Center and even *gasp* a golf course (seasonal).

    Our favorite activity yet...was dissecting owl pellets in the Collections Gallery!

    If you are here for an extended stay and would like the kiddos to do something productive,my husband teaches carpentry classes through the museum's families and learning division...lots of fun and heck...a handmade memento of your trip.

    The Hole In One Brat
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    "Industrial Architecture" at the Guthrie

    by yooperprof Updated Jul 24, 2006

    I liked the "Old" Guthrie Theater down by the Walker Arts Center, so I was glad to hear that they were able to keep the basic dimensions of the theater at the new riverside complex. I was even happier to see the finished project. It's one of the most interesting, challenging, and sophisticated new American buildings I've seen in years. It's certainly "destination architecture," and in some way the stylistic choices made by Jean Nouvel could be seen as brash and overly aggressive. But I think this theater complex is entirely appropriate to its site, down on the Industrial river-front, next to a landmark grain elevation, in what had been a practical urban wasteland of abandoned warehouses and surface parking lots.

    Fact is, loud, self-confidant architecture is exactly what's needed to lure the comfortable middle classes back to the urban core. And the Guthrie isn't just any typical provincial theater company - its the equal in significance to any other institution in the Twin Cites, and it deserves to have a landmark. The new Guthrie is certainly a landmark!

    is it    a) factory   b)power station  c) theater?
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