Here's a 2015 article I wrote on losing our much-loved Nye's Polonaise lounge and polka bar in Minneapolis. It's updated with new photos that show what happened four years later. This article originally appeared in the May-June 2015 issue of Architecture MN Four Years After Demolition: Revisiting Nye’s Polonaise Room How can we save valued places whose … Continue reading Nye’s Four Years Later: The puzzles of preserving valued places
Many 19th century midwestern towns created their own "beauty spots"—interpreting and highlighting the landscape according to the aesthetic ideals that they brought from the east coast and from Europe. This Rustic Bridge in Davenport, Iowa brings the 18th century English ideal of the "picturesque" to the American prairie. The circa 1910 postcard is from a … Continue reading Small town parks—Rusticity
rain song absorbs harsh sounds, hushing the city trust old people with umbrellas more than the blue in the sky —from Monsoon Haiku by Bernie Gourley
In 19th century midwestern and High Plains towns, there was a natural urge to create enclosed and urbane settings as an escape from the surrounding open landscape. The history of their city parks tells a story of the of the desire to create "beauty spots"—places of geographic fantasy and a kind of "paradise" on … Continue reading Beauty Spots: The framing of nature and urbanity in Midwestern towns
Above. Two contrasting views of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, June 2017 Impact Design in the Twin Cities June 7, 2017 Link: Impact Design Hub by: Frank Edgerton Martin The following is a story that I just completed on the new idea of "public design". This idea is hard to define—and I think needs … Continue reading Regional History and Public Design—before designing for the future, it helps to know the past
"One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the … Continue reading Why we thought he’d never win.