Peavey Plaza gains historic designation

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Peavey Plaza's future may be a question mark, but it now has an exclamation mark on its past.

The National Register of Historic Places is recognizing the downtown Minneapolis block as a landmark of landscape architecture. The 1975 creation of M. Paul Friedberg was hailed as a gem of Modernist design.

The designation is not yet official, but was announced Thursday by The Cultural Landscape Foundation. That group helped put together the plaza's nomination for national historic status.

Like many of us, Peavey Plaza is not as bushy-tailed as it was in the 1970s. The city council flirted with the idea of demolishing it last year. Instead, it chose to give the Plaza a face-lift in conjunction with a renovation of neighboring Orchestra Hall.

Preservation groups and The Cultural Landscape Foundation argue the planned makeover would leave the Plaza unrecognizable to fans of its original design. They've filed a lawsuit. The Star Tribune reports a trial is scheduled for June but a hearing is coming up on Feb. 5.

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