Minneapolis Skyway


Joanna Andreasson

The Minneapolis "skyway" began as a single bridge across Marquette Avenue linking the second floors of two office buildings. It grew, in fits and spontaneous spurts, into more than 11 miles of interior walkways—a city-spanning conduit for commerce and transportation.

Leif Kurth, Creative Commons

The remarkable thing about the skyway—besides the Replacements' wonderful 1987 song about it—is that it's almost entirely privately owned and built. As it grew, developers began laying out interior spaces to not only accommodate skyway-enabled foot traffic but make money off it. Corridors are lined with coffee shops, lunch spots, and a wide assortment of boutique stores—the fare you'd expect to find at street level, not inside and one floor off the ground. By now it has enabled not just commerce but beauty: The massive, glass-enclosed atrium of the IDS Center, with its multistory waterfall and park benches, is a private space built with the public in mind.

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  1. The intersection of roadz and flying cars!

  2. Funny that Governor Dayton’s son wants to tear them down because no one wants to walk outside when it is -20 below to go get at $15 fallafal at some over priced food truck.

    1. The anti skyway derangement that consumes Minneapolis elites is astonishing. The new Guthrie theater needed a way to move sets and equipment between buildings without subjecting them to the gentle caress of Minnesota weather and when their internal skyway was criticized for being a skyway they had to come up with some drivel about it being a reference to the long chutes connecting grain elevators to mills. Think about a world that would create the need for this sophistry.

      1. I’d never heard of these skyways. They sound pretty neat for any city, but especially in cold wet weather. I can only guess the statists hate them because they were not planned for by the city, just like all spontaneous activity makes them jealous and upsets their OCD quest for order.

        But I’d be grateful for more local insight into the opposition.

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