NICOLLET MALL MAKEOVER: Design firms unveil plans - New York News

NICOLLET MALL MAKEOVER: Design firms unveil plans

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Nicollet Mall was once considered Minnesota's Main Street -- but it's about to get a big makeover.

On Tuesday, three design firms presented the City of Minneapolis with their vision for the future, and though all were somewhat similar, they each boasted a unique element that caught the attention of leaders and residents alike.

"We should reinvent the great American Main Street, the world's great pedestrian street," Mayor RT Rybak urged.

When making the pitch on Tuesday evening, Daoust Lestage, of Montreal, presented a plan with a massive tree presence and urban furniture to bring people to the area, but the main draw would be a special emphasis on "magical" lighting.

Nicollet Walk, the vision of James Corner Field Operations of New York, would be realized by transforming the mall into a place where people live, work and play.

Finally, Tom Leader Studio -- based out of Berkeley, Calif. -- created Nicollet Live, a three-pronged approach of organism, playground and urban theater. That plan would also include a market with a retractable roof.

In the end, the response was overwhelmingly positive -- especially considering the current state of Nicollet Mall.

All of the plans want to connect the mall to Loring Park and to the Mississippi River, and all hope to create a unique surface that will fix the aging streets and sidewalks. The renovation would mark the first revitalization of the mall since the 1980s.

Next, a team will look over the proposals and make a recommendation before the Minneapolis City Council. That move is expected sometime this week.

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