Thursday, May 14, 2009

The best interpretive center EVER.

People, a little excursion to North Minneapolis' Webber-Camden neighborhood is in order. Just east of I-94, along the Mississippi River, you'll find North Mississippi Regional Park (there are actually lots of entry points via trails and roads.) While the natural surroundings and trails are great, the thing you cannot miss-especially if you are an urbanist-is the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center.

Really, how often can you go into a park's visitor center and learn about the effects a freeway has had on neighborhoods and city development (as well as the natural environment)? Old newspaper stories, aerial photos, & a 1973 Barracuda tell the story of I-94's impact on North Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs. It's a rarity to find a park that both celebrates natural resources and gives visitors an important lesson in urban history. Visit today!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green Inside & Out-My Love Affair with the Seward Coop

I love the Seward Coop building. It's a lovely hunk of modernism with its bold green exterior paneling and its boxy shape. There certainly is no mistaking the messaging here--this co-op is green--in every way. According to a January 2009 article in "The Bridge," the building has:

white roofing for climate control, skylights and recycled construction materials — including flooring from the old store — to minimize the co-op’s carbon footprint. Rain gardens and a sloped parking lot capture 90 percent of stormwater runoff.

It was also designed by Close Associates, whose offices are just blocks away on Franklin Avenue (how's that for local?!). As the store awaits for the results of its LEED Gold application (a year-long evaluation process, before certification is granted) I'll be wishing them success.