City urban environment awards are Thursday

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May 3, 2004 // UPDATED 1:27 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

The 32nd annual Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) Awards recognizes Minneapolis projects that considered community input in design and function, Thursday, May 6, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Historic Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave. S. -- a venue that is among the 21 finalists.

CUE, a volunteer organization, rewards urban, architectural or environmental design; historic preservation; streetscapes; neighborhood improvement; parks and open spaces; public art; special events; and personal achievements that contribute to urban quality, aesthetics and livability. The only requirement is project completion within the past five years in the city of Minneapolis. The number of awards given and the goals of nominees vary.

For example, the restoration of the Pantages, for its "reuse of a gem," according to CUE spokesperson Meg Forney, makes it a worthy candidate. The Mill City Museum was nominated for its unique adaptation of past and present infrastructure. "It involved the community in its aesthetics in a creative, novel way," said Forney.

"There are large architectural firms that spend a lot of money on their projects and then smaller groups that can't afford that. What do they have in common? The urban environment -- how does that add to the fabric of the city," she said.

Other nominees with Downtown roots:

- Hiawatha Light Rail Transit station designers, for their unique approach to design: They asked each neighborhood what they thought LRT stops should look like.

- Loring Park Neighborhood Recreation and Arts Center was totally renovated to reflect Charles Loring's 1906 Mission Style pavilion, complete with dark oak wainscoting and trim, bronze hardware and glass doors. Now there's a room for gatherings and performances, offices, a kitchen and accessible restrooms.

- Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nicollet Mall and 12th Street, built a 33,450-square-foot addition to the 1897 English Gothic style structure, adding a reception area, parlor, classrooms, dining hall, underground parking and a bell tower -- all of which extend harmoniously from the original building.

- The Jeremiah Project, 1510 Laurel Ave., supplies affordable housing, education, personal development and childcare services (for infants to preschoolers) to 39 single-mother families and 62 children -- at capacity -- doubling its size and services offered in its 1997 inception.

- 3rd Avenue Bridge over I-94. Unique for its Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired curvature, it stands out with colorful paneled railings, graceful spires and walkways.

At the ceremony, there'll be an hour of socializing and a keynote speech by Weiming Lu, president of Lowertown Redevelopment, who was CUE's first staff person.

Registration begins at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are $30. To make reservations, send a check made payable to "Friends of CUE"

Committee on Urban Environment

350 S. 5th St.

Mayor's Office

Minneapolis, MN 55415