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Architecture Tour

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 repesenting two distinct architectural epochs. 

Although the two cities were born about the same time, around 1840, Saint Paul, because it was a river port, private enterprise city, it matured much earlier.  Hence, its architecture reflects a European and Victorian-Era influence.   Upstream, Minneapolis, in its early going, was a closed government operaton developing the hydro power of Saint Anthony Falls.  By the time Minneapolis was beginning develop as a city, due to development of lumbering, flour milling and railroads, the eager seeds of Prairie School styles were exploding out of Chicago across the land, finding welcome in Minneapolis. 

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. ;-)

A question to ponder during the tour: In which city would you prefer to live?   You will see strong arguments for both.

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