The architecture in Minneapolis is hard to describe. Mix industrial facets with a sleek, modern aesthetic, and Minneapolis skyline’s charming appeal emerges. The city, which started as an industrial hot spot for flour and wood, has revolutionized over the years. The architecture and buildings in Minneapolis embrace the city’s manufacturing history and offer up a crisp, modern take on design. Here are the top 10 most iconic buildings in Minneapolis:
Mill City Museum
At night the words “Gold Medal Flour” illuminate the night in the Minneapolis skyline. Upon closer inspection, visitors see ruins lying below the blazing neon-lit sign and are backdropped by a new glistening glass exterior. The sleek, glass panels juxtaposed against the worn brick is definitely a showstopper. Now called the Mill City Museum, this building in Minneapolis commemorates the former Gold Medal Flour Mill, which suffered an explosion and numerous fires during its operation. The mill didn’t close into 1965, after 91 years of being one of the cornerstones in Minneapolis’ economy. This building perfectly encapsulates Minneapolis’s economic boom that was started in part by the flour industry.
Grain Belt Brew House
Grain Belt Brewery is another neon-lit sign that blazes on the Minneapolis skyline. This brewery illustrates the rich, saturated history of the Minnesota brewing industry. This brewery closed temporarily during the Prohibition Era but re-opened after its repeal. The brewhouse now serves as another memorable piece of Minneapolis’s captivating history.
Witch’s Hat Water Tower
Simple design and lines are novel and create what’s considered an architectural must-see. This is certainly the case with Minneapolis’ Witch’s Hat Water Tower. This towering castle-like turret is unlike most of Minneapolis architecture. Located in Prospect Park, the water tower is one of the only remaining water towers in the Twin Cities area. This architectural gem is only open once per year during Memorial Day weekend.
The University of Minnesota has numerous architectural hidden gems including, the Bell Museum, Amory, McNamara Student Center, and Coffman Memorial Union. One of the shiniest buildings in Minneapolis is the Weisman Museum. The glinting steel exterior is reflective of the shimmering Mississippi River waters below.
The most prominent modern-day architectural gem that graces Minneapolis’s skyline is the Guthrie Theatre. Outfitted with a digital-rolling marquee erected at the very top of the building. Unlike other artistic spaces, the Guthrie embraces modern design and functionality. Inside the building, visitors can see sweeping views of the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis.
The IDS Tower in downtown is a Minneapolis architectural feat. Rocketing at 57 floors or 792 feet, this skyscraper is the tallest building in Minneapolis. IDS Center’s reflective exterior makes it a captivating building in the skyline. At ground level, visitors will even be able to snap a photo with the iconic Mary Tyler Moore bronze statue portraying her throwing her hat into the wind.
Wells Fargo Center
Reflecting off IDS Tower’s windows is the looming Wells Fargo Building. Standing tall with a prominent stone façade, the Wells Fargo Center is only 18 feet shorter than its neighbor. Decked out in an art deco style, the Wells Fargo Center is among Minneapolis’ elite buildings. Luckily, venturing to this building is easy from the IDS Tower because they are connected via the skyway.
Another art deco giant that graces Minneapolis downtown is the Foshay Tower. The bottom floor of this building houses one of the iconic Key’s Café locations. At the top of the glamorous Minneapolis skyscraper is an observation deck. The tower is now a luxury hotel that guarantees guests a stylish, glamorous experience in Minneapolis’ historic downtown.
Minneapolis City Hall
Minneapolis’s City Hall is hard to miss with in the skyline its green rooftops and chiming bell tower. Built in the late 1880s the building is now the heart of Minneapolis’s bustling city center. Made entirely of stone the exterior of the building is prominent and pristine. Also, admire Minneapolis’s City Hall sweeping staircases and walls of marble which is reminiscent of Roman classic architecture.
U.S. Bank Stadium
The newest addition to the Minneapolis skyline is the U.S. Bank Stadium, where the former Metrodome stood. Completed in 2016, the U.S. Bank Stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings. The stadium made nationwide news when it hosted Super Bowl LII in 2018. The glass exterior and geometric design make it sound out among Minneapolis’ concrete jungle.
Minneapolis’s architecture scene is blossoming. Some buildings are rooted in tradition and history while other architectural gems look to blaze a new frontier. Experience both in the “moving forward” city of Minneapolis.