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July 5, 2004 // UPDATED 2:24 pm - April 25, 2007
By: the world
the world

With the opening of the much-awaited Hiawatha

Light Rail Transit line, we celebrate the completion

of a major public project in Minnesota. Among the

many destinations along the route is the Downtown

Central Public Library - just a moment's walk from

two Downtown LRT stations.

Any passenger can disembark at the Nicollet Mall

station or Warehouse District station, walk to the

Central Library and find they are at the doorstep to

the world. Surf the Web, or pick up a book in our

history section and be instantly transported to the

days of the Roman Empire. You can pick up a book

in our travel section and learn where to get a good

cup of coffee in London's West End, or dine in one

of Mumbai's waterfront restaurants. Visit the

library's art section and read about ancient Mayan

weaving techniques or African Mask carvings.

Best of all, you can pick up a book at the library

when you arrive Downtown for work and read during

your commute home.

The Hiawatha line is only the beginning of travel

and exploration in our city. The Downtown Central

Public Library is your connecting stop to thousands

of other destinations.

Kit Hadley

Director, Minneapolis Public Library

Industrial destiny

[Regarding Skyway News' June 28-July 4 series of

articles on conversion of Minneapolis industrial


The industrial transition in Minneapolis has been

occurring for more than 80 years, since the lumber

and milling operations peaked around 1920. The

vacation of multistory industrial operations is nothing

more than an extension of that transition. The

Procolor proprietors acknowledged that in their

article. Modern industrial operations want singlestory

buildings. They also want room for future

expansion and parking. Minneapolis cannot usually

offer that. Therefore, industrial operations have

been moving to the suburbs - now into the third

and fourth ring - since World War II.

The conversion of North Loop industrial and

warehouse buildings should be viewed as a blessing.

These converted buildings provide a tax base

and residents to shop Downtown. The conversion

to residential brings a lot of vitality to the city.

I don't think the city needs to spend $300,000 to

find out the city's strongest industrial niches. A simple

phone call to CSM (development) about why

their relatively new single-story flex space building

at I-35W and New Brighton Blvd. has been halfempty

for three years would probably be very

revealing. Then ask Scott Tankenhoff at Hillcrest

Development about conversion of old warehouse

buildings along Stinson Boulevard and other city

locations to loft office spaces. He knows the business

very well.

What the city does need to look out for is compatibility

of uses. For example, the Riverview

Homes development at 2225 W. River Rd. is a disaster

waiting to happen. The project is new townhouses,

not a converted warehouse. Not only is the

site plan very bad, with too much crowding and

poor circulation, but the Cemstone plant is right

next door.

The city authorized this spot-zoning proposal

and allowed a residential use right in the middle of

one of those areas of the city that has single-story

industrial buildings with adjacent parking. It is an

area of the city where public money was spent to

create a "modern" industrial park in the 1970s.

Then, 30 years later, the city allows a poorly

designed townhouse project.

I guarantee you that those folks who live

there are not going to be walking to the adjacent

businesses. The city has shot itself in the foot on

that one.

Perry Thorvig

Downtown worker