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Peavey Plaza

Parks & Recreational
Urban Design

Following the completion of the pedestrian-friendly Nicollet Mall in 1967, downtown Minneapolis was in need of a public space that complimented the bustling and vibrant retail corridor. Responding to this successful transformation, M Paul Friedberg & Partners designed and implemented Peavey Plaza in 1975.

Borrowing from the success of his designs for the New York City Housing Authority at Riis Park Plaza (1965), Friedberg developed the plaza as a sunken amphitheater with a reflecting pool basin at its center. As if carved out by the water itself, the stepped amphitheater appears to emerge from waterfalls that cascade through modernist forms of concrete. 

Often referring to the plaza as the city’s “living-room”, Friedberg’s design showcased a deep understanding of people’s needs in their respective urban environments - while also charting new and inventive designs to inspire change. Once built in 1975, the plaza was immediately met with praise by Minneapolis residents. As intended, the plaza became a hub of activity in the heart of downtown Minneapolis - used for programmed events by the adjacent Orchestra Hall, the space was regularly full of life. Peavey Plaza had satisfied a variety of the city’s needs - ultimately offering a distinct, inspiring, and vibrant civic asset.

Under threat of demolition in the early 2000’s, Peavey Plaza was eventually included to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, with a revitalization planned for 2017. Along with the efforts of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) and Coen+Partners, the plaza was restored in 2019 with a focus on preservation and modernized amenities, such as ADA accessibility.


Minneapolis, MN


City of Minneapolis


Public Open Space; Parks


2 Acres





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