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Minneapolis/St. Paul skyway history


Minneapolis skyway history

Skyway leading to the Northstar Center, Minneapolis


The skyway system in Minneapolis started in 1962. The first skyway spanned 7th Street between Marquette and Second Avenues and connected the new Northstar Center with the Northwestern National Bank (now Wells Fargo). The popularity of this first bridge didn't go unnoticed by developers. Over the next few years, skyways were built to connect even more buildings. By 1969, four blocks of the financial district were connected and a skyway connecting Dayton's with the LaSalle court was also erected.


Thirteen years after the first skyway, there were thirteen blocks of downtown real estate connected to the skyway system. In the years to follow, buildings like the City Center and Centre Village were also a part of the system. Opened in 1973, the IDS Center incorporated four skyways directly into its design. Today, it is still the center of Minneapolis' skyway system with Crystal Court as the heart of downtown.


Since then, more than 8 miles of skyway have been built in the city. Minneapolis boasts the largest continuous skyway system in the world, connecting 80 blocks of buildings filled with offices, shops and restaurants.


 

YEAR OPENED
BUILDINGS CONNECTED IN MINNEAPOLIS
1962

Northwestern National Bank to Cargill Building

1963

Northstar Center to Baker Block (Baker Center)

1963

JCPenney to F&M

1969

LaSalle Court (U.S. Bancorp) to Dayton's (Macy's)

1969

Marquette Bank to 1st Bank Concourse (Canadian Pacific Plaza)

1973

IDS Center (IDS Tower) to Midwest Plaza

1973

IDS Center (IDS Tower) to Baker Block (Baker Center)

1973

IDS Building (IDS Tower) to Norwest Center (Wells Fargo Center)

1974

TCF Bank to Baker Center

1976

Powers Department Store to JCPenney (RBC Plaza)

1977

Orchestra Hall to parking ramp

1981

Midland Bank Building (The Hotel Minneapolis) to Northwestern Bell (Century Link)

1981

Northwestern Bell (Century Link) to Pillsbury Center (US Bank Plaza)

1981

1st. National Bank (Canadian Pacific Plaza) to Pillsbury Center (US Bank Plaza)

1982

Galaxy Building (Towle Building) to Midland Square (Hotel Minneapolis)

1982

Galaxy Building (Towle Building) to Crossing Condominiums

1982

Crossings Condominiums to 100 Washington Square

1983

Crossings Condominiums to Wells Fargo Operations Center

1983

Plymouth Building to City Center

1983

Hennepin County Goverment Center to Pillsbury Center (US Bank Plaza)

1984

Wells Fargo Operations Center to Gateway Municipal Parking Ramp

1984

TCF Bank to International Center

1984

Hennepin County Govt. Center to parking ramp

   

 

St. Paul skyway history

Golden Rule skyway across Eighth Street, St. Paul


St. Paul's skyway system was started in 1967*. Unlike Minneapolis, the skyways in St. Paul are publicly owned. Although Donaldson's Department Store is credited by some to have the first skyway in the Twin Cities in 1951, it was nothing more than an elevated bridge to their parking ramp.

In 1967, a skyway was built to connect the Pioneer Press to the Federal Courts building, thus ushering in St. Paul's true skyway system. By 1977, there were nine skyways in downtown St. Paul.


Currently, St. Paul now has more than 5 miles of skyway connecting 30 blocks.


 

YEAR OPENED
BUILDINGS CONNECTED IN ST. PAUL
1967

Federal Courts Building to Pioneer Press Building

1970

Fifth Street Center (superblock project that extends over Cedar Street)

1971

First National Bank Building to Pioneer Press Building

1971

Northern Federal (Ecolab) to Dayton's (Macy's)

1972

Midwest Federal (Bremier) to Fifth Street Center

1972

Kellogg Square Apartments to First National Bank Building

1974

Fifth Street Center to American National Bank (US Bank Center)

1974

First National Bank Building to American National Bank (US Bank Center)

1974

American National Bank (US Bank Center) to TCF Bank (401 Building)

1978

Wabasha Court to Dayton's (Macy's)

1979

Bremer Building (replaced by 401 Building) to Donaldsons Department Store (Golden Rule Building)

1979

Metro Square Building to Donaldsons Department Store (Golden Rule Building)

1979

Park Square Court to Mears Park Place

1980

University Athletic Club to Pioneer Press Building

1980

Fifth Street Center to Town Square

1980

Town Square to Bremer Building (401 Building)

1980

Dayton's/World Trade Center(Wells Fargo Place) to Town Square

1980

Degree of Honor Building to Pioneer Press Building

1980

Degree of Honor Building to Radisson Hotel

1981

American National Bank (US Bank Center) to Farm Credit Services (AgriBank)

1982

TCF Bank (401 Building) to MN Life

1982

MN life to Mears Park Place

1983

City Walk Condominiums to Town Square (via North Central Life Tower)

   
* THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING IN ST. PAUL commonly gets credit for being the first modern skyway in St. Paul, the state, and possibly the nation. As the historic tower with the brightly blinking "1" was erected in 1931, there was, and still is, a connecting skyway/bridge that spans from the east tower's 16th floor (east tower built in 1915) down at a gradual slope to the West tower's 17th floor. This 1931 skyway is still operational and is used by a select few. It is wrapped in copper which has now oxidized giving it a majestic green tint.

 

Source: The Skyway Cities by Sam H. Kaufman
 
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