Edit ModuleShow Tags

Top Five Architectural Wonders


Published:

How often do you find yourself driving down the street thinking, “wow, that sure is a cool building”? When I’m traveling through Minneapolis or St. Paul, that thought definitely seems to pop into my head more often than not. And not only are our architectural landmarks grand, but they’re so diverse, ranging from Renaissance-style to incomparably modern. With so many wonders spread across the city, it really is harder than you’d think to compose a list of the best, but in my opinion, these are the top five.

1. Weisman Art Museum: Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, this stainless steel structure won him the Progressive Architecture Design award. Named after Frederick R. Weisman, a Minnesota native and the former president of Hunt Foods, it serves as a teaching museum for the University of Minnesota, with a collection that includes more than 17,000 works of art. 333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis.

        

Photos by Todd Buchanan

2. Minnesota State Capitol: After nearly 12 years of planning and construction, Minnesota’s third state capitol building opened in 1905. Cass Gilbert, a then 35-year-old local architect, designed the Italian Renaissance-style building, including the magnificent dome, modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Another standout feature is the golden quadriga, which sits in front of the dome, designed by Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial. 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul.

         

Photos courtesy of the  Minnesota HIstorical society

3. Guthrie Theater: This is the most recently built structure on the list, having opened in 2006, but it certainly is no less grand. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the bright blue metal building houses three stages, a full service restaurant, numerous bars, and one of the best views in Minneapolis. From the Guthrie’s 30-foot-wide Endless Bridge (one of the longest cantilevers in the world), you’ll get unmatchable views of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, and Stone Arch Bridge, as well as framed and “forced perspective” views that focus on nearby historical landmarks. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

         

Left Photo by mark vancleave; Right Photo by Jim gallop 

4. Cathedral of Saint Paul: This Beaux Arts-style cathedral is the fourth of its name and was designed by French architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, who was inspired by the churches of his home country. Set on Summit Hill, characterizing features include domes and arches, large, stained glass windows that flood in natural light, and walls built of St. Cloud granite, American travertine from Mankato, and Italian Botticino marble. 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul.

              

Photos by Todd Buchanan

5. Basilica of St. Mary: Also designed in the Beaux Arts-style by Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, this was the nation’s first basilica, built from 1907-1915. Located on Hennepin Avenue, this vision of Archbishop John Ireland is home to 12,000 parishioners and was honored by Pope Pius XI in 1926. 88 N. 17th St., Minneapolis.

          

Photos by Todd Buchanan

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: February

This month's philanthropic food events: a "Chopped"-style competition, the Charlie Awards, and cocktails with your dog

The 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival

Join over 10,000 people for a weekend of ice fishing, good-hearted competition and family fun Feb. 23–25

13 Overlooked Photo Ops in Minnesota

From Duluth to Waite Park to St. Paul, these are the iconic MN photo ops you might not know about

Art Flourishes on Frozen Lake Harriet

The Lake Harriet Kite Festival and Art Shanty Projects combine for a day of art, whimsy, and entertainment on Lake Harriet.

Snowmobiling Through Minnesota

Try a new mode of transportation this winter: snowmobile

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: January

This month's philanthropic events: the winners of a pork showdown, and Swedish pottery

6 Places That Give MN Hipster Cred

Crocodiles and third-wave coffee and decomposing plushies—these are a few of our favorite (and most "hipster-y") things across the state

Sara Groves: Hymns in a Tiny Sanctuary

The singer recorded her latest album in the small church building that she transformed into a community center for creativity

Minnesota Businesses Adapt to Warmer Winters

As Minnesota winters get warmer, some businesses struggle, while others adapt the state's snowy identity

Go Deep: MN's Most Unique Tourist Spots

Destinations for those looking for the weirder, lesser-known side of the Twin Cities

So Much to Celebrate at the Best of Minnesota Party

Nearly 700 guests enjoyed Minnesota Monthly’s inaugural Best of Minnesota Party, on November 30, at Lumber Exchange Event Center, presented by The Saint Paul Hotel.

Not Your Typical Date Night Ideas

Scrap dinner and movie and try one of these unique date ideas instead.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: December

Sue Z.'s ideas for giving back this holiday season include donating food while taking in the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train—and perusing food trucks

Join the Fun at the Best of Minnesota Party 2017

Celebrate the best of Minnesota with food, drinks, live music, and games downtown Minneapolis November 30.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags