Making a modernist park plaza accessible to all
"New History makes a unique contribution by bringing a multi-disciplinary approach to historic preservation – combining preservation architecture, historical research, and knowledge of the regulatory process and economic framework to help their clients plan for the successful redevelopment of historic places."
- Peter Brown, Owner’s Representative to the City of Minneapolis
Coen + Partners (Design Phase), City of Minneapolis (Construction Phase)
Assessment of historic materials, community stakeholder engagement, Minnesota historic preservation approvals, design guidance for historic preservation, construction oversight for historic preservation
Half of city block
After years of deterioration, Peavey Plaza has been restored and reactivated as an accessible civic plaza.
Like other modern plazas, Peavey is a public asset that is owned, operated, and maintained by the City of Minneapolis, making the need for universal accessibility both a legal requirement and a social responsibility. But, the very design features that define its historic design – like stepped terraces, water features, and geometric areas of lawn – make it inaccessible. In 2012, Peavey Plaza was considered for demolition. By 2017, the Plaza was in disrepair, the water features were inoperable, and the Plaza sat generally unused.
New History worked with the City and design team to lead the complex and challenging community engagement and conversation about the revitalization of the plaza. With over 31 stakeholder groups and the general public, difficult discussions and design decisions were needed to integrate permanent accessibility into the civic plaza. New History worked with the design team and City to ensure that the plaza would be vibrant and open today and for future generations.