The Blessed Town of Edgerton

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Paul to early examples of modern curtainwall glass buildings. There are tax credits for rehabilitating National Register buildings and others certified as contributing to an historic district. Should we also create tax incentives to retain these businesses and encourage new ones? But cities have the right to landmark old buildings and limit building height through spot zoning in historic districts. The original proposed development placed the two historic buildings together as a kind of ornament on a tall tower and base.

Fortunately, after much neighborhood opposition the owner and ESG architects developed a much better, smaller mid-rise solution shown. Image ESG Architects. The real issue here is whether Minneapolis will enforce its own laws. The current thinking assumes that large buildings are needed to preserve some of the old ones.

Sometimes that means saying no to the next big tower—and working to ensure that the city does not become completely gentrified, as is happening in Manhattan, Seattle, and San Francisco. Northeast Minneapolis is now thriving as an arts district. Many old businesses, like this bar, survive—creating a sense of layered history that themed projects can never have. Photo by the author. We need to create long-term economic and architectural preservation policies for historic districts that encourage legacy and small businesses to live on within future developments.

Great cities find a way of weaving old and new. Only then can we give one-of-a-kind polka bars the chance to survive—and future generations the opportunity to create new valued places of their own.

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Beauty spots were likely born out of a desire to mimic East Coast village greens and wooded glens here on the prairie. Postcards of the parks, though often retouched with color and perhaps even edited to remove flaws, document an early and earnest civic pride. Towns like Litchfield, Le Sueur, Owatonna and Mankato were eager to let the world know about the civilized public parks they had to offer. Located on the banks of the Minnesota River, it became a popular destination.

Blessed with blufflands, Mankato had beauty spots with sweeping river views, but also more urbane locales, such as Lincoln Park in downtown, and a Lovers Lane. In Bemidji, the beauty spot was a lakeshore parkway that linked its downtown Carnegie Library to the state teachers college, which would later become Bemidji State University. Shelter on the plains. In much of western and central Minnesota, geographic features tend to be subtle.

Without dramatic river bluffs, dense woods or lakes, townspeople constructed local landmarks, many of which were reminiscent of their pasts. In railroad towns on the prairie, such as Litchfield, residents carved out a sense of local character by creating formal town parks. They installed formal, linear walks and planted a canopy of trees, then used the surrounding buildings to create an urbane sense of enclosure. Across the Upper Midwest, even the smallest towns built parks, with formal iron fountains imported from the East Coast and bandstands for summer concerts.

In Renville County, the small town of Olivia planted a grove of trees as its early town park.

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  8. Less costly than an ornamental park with formal fountains, the canopy of trees offered a rare place of enclosure and shade. The linear layout of the trees and central path to a wooden bandstand established a sense of order on the open land. Higher aspirations, growing towns. A generation later, in the City Beautiful and Beaux Arts eras , Midwestern towns began to build even grander, neoclassically inspired parks with pergolas, performance halls and amphitheaters. The triangular space was furnished with stone benches, planting beds and a fountain pool sheltered by a curving pergola.

    Now named John Rich Park, it remains one of the most beautiful small civic spaces in the country. Borrowing from Europe. Frank Edgerton Martin is a consulting writer for architecture and design firms and a historic landscape preservation planner. The circa postcard is from a book project that I am working on concerning the imposition of Euro-American landscape aesthetics on midwestern landscapes as Native American culture s and their understanding of the land were systematically displaced.

    Also picturesque, Chester Park preserves the northern Minnesota boreal forest in Duluth. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis circa Minnesota Historical Society. Paul are civic signatures, designed by celebrated architects. But far more important in our daily lives are the commercial buildings — the stores, apartments, warehouses and offices — that originally filled out our downtowns and lined our main corridors like Lake Street and University Avenue. Virtually all of St. Some are nondescript, but many were designed by architects and exquisitely detailed.

    Their real beauty is apparent when you see them together on the streets they frame.

    Joel Edgerton on His 3 Minutes of 'Star Wars' Fame

    Although these commercial buildings were originally designed for manufacturing and warehouses, they have proved highly adaptable. Lake Street in Minneapolis is a multigenerational case study in fabric buildings and their lasting importance. Lake Street at Night, Taken alone, these buildings were nothing special, but together these fabric buildings became a destination. The same could be said for Grand Avenue in St. Paul, which remains a shopping, business and restaurant hub today.

    But in the s, places like Lake Street and University Avenue began to lose buildings to parking lots that fronted gas stations, muffler repair shops and banks — all of which were set back from the street, creating eerily exposed environments for pedestrians. On Lake Street, some blocks had so many parking lots that the street lost its unique draw and urban feel. In the s, cities encouraged economic revival through drive-up, one-story office and business parks, also with front-door parking.

    Paul transformed the Midway area with big-box stores such as Target, which was set even farther back from the street. This new chapter in commercial architecture ignored the lure, the continuity, the sense of community created by fabric buildings. Fortunately, during the past 20 years, planners in the Twin Cities have grown to appreciate fabric buildings as affordable locations for small businesses, and their collective density draws visitors and enriches the pedestrian experience.

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    Both Minneapolis and St. Paul now encourage developers to learn to re-use fabric buildings and build new structures up to the sidewalk, just as they were a century ago. Because building codes allow less expensive wood construction up to five stories, many new apartments and condos are four to five stories tall, creating areas with buildings that are consistent in height and form.

    And because of the need for housing, parking lots are being filled with new buildings that complement the older surviving buildings. American cities are starting to grow in population for the first time in 50 years. Thousands of old fabric buildings can be repurposed for the digital era, offering millennials an alternative to the postwar suburbs where many of them grew up. But even more important, these buildings offer variety — in architectural period and style and in adaptability.

    Great cities will continue to preserve and build architectural landmarks. But we also need to preserve and build a humble kind of architecture. We can never try to save all, or even most, of the fabric buildings in our cities. We are, however, finally learning how much they matter as cities evolve with every generation. Postcard circa Circa postcard showing the complex shade canopy system that Purcell designed based on Roman precedents.

    The fabric could extend over the much of the seating area. Northwest Architectural Archives. Cheryl Turner Miller. My 2nd great Grandfather from the 43rd Alabama Infantry died in the Civil War at Chattanooga Tennessee in and it is so sad to see all of the Confederate Monuments being taken down because people get "offended" by them. See More. Pages Public Figure H. Edgerton Posts. Information about Page Insights Data.

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    Posted by Cecil Hugh Greenwell. Me and one of my bestest friends. Edgerton shared a Page. City of Memphis. Edgerton added a Shop Now button to their Page.

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    Shop Now. Edgerton shared a video. Confederate Flags. Edgerton updated their profile picture. At Presidential candidate forum. Posted by Kevin Nelms. I am their Flag. The True South by H. Edgerton regarding the True South and a historical perspective of how life truly w