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Architecture of the Twin Cities

Posted May 23, 2019 @ 1:15am | by Doug

Architecture St. Paul and Minneapolis

Above – Lake of the Isles home in Minneapolis

Nature embraces the Twin Cities. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are nested in a vast evergreen and hardwood forest with lakes, streams, waterfalls, and the Mighty Mississippi River, which flows the 13 miles between them through a lush valley.

This is the perfect setting for magnificent neighborhoods of architecturally stunning homes.

Taking an architecture tour of the two cities is through two, fascinating, open-air museums representing two distinct architectural epochs.

The two cities were born about the same time, around 1840, so the architecture goes back to that period.  However, St. Paul, because it was a river port and private enterprise zone, matured far sooner. Its architecture reflects a European and Victorian-era influence.  Upstream a dozen river miles, Minneapolis, in its early going was a closed government operation to develop the hydro power of St. Anthont Falls.  By the time Minneapolis opened up for private development, building styles had changed and today we see early Prairie Style homes and overall a more modern appearance.

The commercial buildings are much the same, with Saint Paul representing more of an Eastern type city; Minneapolis, meanwhile, is taller, shinier, glitzier, Western-style. It is where East meets West. Each city is absolutely charming in its own way, as you will see and appreciate. Minneapolis skyscrapers include works by architects Cesar Pelli, I.M. Pei, Phillip Johnson, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry.

In Minneapolis, the new $1.1 billion Minnesota Vikings football stadium (pictured below) is an angular marvel! It suggests an ancient Viking ship bearing muscular, sweaty, aggressive guys fighting over an oddly shaped ball. ;-)

Which city is more interesting?  Take a Twin Cities Tour and decide for yourself!

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