Mary Tyler Moore statue finally returns to Nicollet Mall

The city's also holding a reopening celebration this week.
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Here's a sure sign the long and controversial Nicollet Mall project is finally done: the Mary Tyler Moore statue is back.

The statue, which depicts the iconic "hat throwing" moment from the opening credits of Moore's famous sitcom, was returned to the corner of 7th and Nicollet over the weekend. 

It had been mothballed in 2015 to make way for sidewalk construction, leading to an outcry from the public, Roadside America notes. The city caved and gave Mary a temporary home in the downtown visitor center a few blocks away, and she spent nearly two years on public display there.

But now she's back in her former home, which is in front of the former Dayton's/Macy's building. The statue was first installed there in 2001, after TV Land gave it to the city. 

The statue's return is perhaps the most welcome news regarding the troubled Nicollet Mall reconstruction, which has been hampered by traffic issues and complaints from local businesses.

There was also the awkward "substantially complete" campaign, an advertising effort in which the city used that somewhat dubious phrase to promise that construction would be mostly done this month. 

It proved a bit of a PR nightmare for Minneapolis, but things now appear to be on track, as a great deal of the traffic barricades have come down. Most of the remaining work involves the installation of public art pieces along the mall. 

On Thursday, the city will host a reopening ceremony to mark completion of the Nicollet Mall project. 

As the Star Tribune notes, the event will include speeches from Mayor Betsy Hodges and Steve Cramer, president of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

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