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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Post Office Student Work Goes Public

After more than a year of research into the reuse potential of the downtown Minneapolis Post Office, which included a research report by a graduate student funded by Target Corporation and RSP Architects, and an urban-design studio of 12 graduate students, taught by MDC research fellow Tim Griffin and RSP partner, Rich Varda, the project was unveiled on April 2nd to the public and the press at a lunchtime event in Minneapolis’ IDS Crystal Court. The event included displays of the students’ drawings and models, and a large 3D printed model of the section of the downtown surrounding the post office site, and was attended by sizable crowd, that included print, online and broadcast media, and City, Hennepin County, and Minnesota State leaders. The attentive crowd listened to remarks by Jay Cowles from the Downtown Council, David Wilson from Accenture, Jono Cowgill, Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board District 4 Commissioner and, MDC Director Tom Fisher, who all conveyed the significance of the project.  Tim Griffin and Rich Varda fielded questions during the event, underscoring how the project could change the face of the downtown Minneapolis riverfront. The memorable moment happened when Mayor Jacob Frey didn’t just welcome the audience, but approached the model, removed the post office pieces, and arranged them on the Crystal Court stone floor to explain how he could see parts of the building being reused and other parts being demolished. Brandishing the models like giant Legos, Frey lived up to his reputation, as David Wilson said, of being a hands-on mayor. Tom Fisher

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