Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism

Peavey Plaza

Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Designed by M. Paul Friedberg

“We proposed a solution which has become to be called the ‘park plaza.’ Truly an American form, a mixture of the American green square and the European hard space.”
 - M. Paul Friedberg, Process Architecture (1989)

During the successful urban renewal projects of the 1960s, the city of Minneapolis hired landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg to design Peavey Plaza to connect with Nicollet Mall, the city’s new downtown pedestrian mall.

While the plaza was designed as a “front yard” for the Minnesota Orchestra’s new concert hall, Peavey Plaza became an urban oasis for downtown inhabitants. Waterfalls absorbed city noise and small garden “rooms,” delineated by groves of honey locusts, created a sense of human intimacy that softened the modern angular surfaces. Today, pressure to further develop downtown threatens the survival of Peavey Plaza. The public needs to understand the site’s significance, or else it will see the plaza’s original Modernist design destroyed. more...

Photo © Keri Pickett


List of Marvels

Boston City Hall Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

Estates Drive Reservoir
Oakland, California

Heritage Plaza
Heritage Park
Fort Worth, Texas

Kaiser Roof Garden
Kaiser Center
Oakland, California

Lake Elizabeth
Allegheny Commons
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Manhattan Square Park
Rochester, New York

Mill Creek Canyon

Kent, Washington

Miller Garden
Columbus, Indiana

El Monte
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Pacific Science
Center Courtyard

Seattle, Washington

San Francisco, California

Peavey Plaza
Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota

education partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

American Society of Landscape Architects’ Indiana, Pennsylvania/Delaware, Minnesota, Northern California, Texas, Upstate New York, and Washington Chapters • Astorino • Charles Butt • Design Within Reach • Topher Delaney • Sandy Donnell & Justin Faggioli • Fathom • Tom Fox • Hillman Foundation • Indianapolis Museum of Art • Lorraine Osmundson • Richard T. Murphy • National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast, Southwest, and Western Offices- with funds from the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation of New York, Dodge Jones Foundation Intervention Fund, and Eastern Massachusetts Preservation Fund • James Richards • Seibert & Rice • Diana & Bruce Shuman • Ann Stack • SWA Group • TBG Partners • Michal and Jeffrey William Tincup • Unilock Inc. • The Woltz Charitable Trust