Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm
barondave

Hidden Minneapolis: City Center Manhole Covers Part I

A Live Journal entry nearly 30 years in the making!

Click on image for larger image.

In 1983, downtown Minneapolis was undergoing a renovation. A new building at the city's center called, um, City Center, was in the air. To further celebrate, they (whoever "they" were) held a contest to design the manhole covers for this exciting project at the heart of downtown, with the theme "Entertainment in Minneapolis". Many manhole covers were cast.

A contest was held and the manhole covers displayed in August of 1984. None was deemed worthy. So they used all of them.

And then the manhole covers were all but forgotten. People walk over them every day without notice. Every time I've taken a picture or pointed one out to someone, everyone -- everyone -- is surprised.

Nicollet, looking South at City Center Nicollet, looking South at City Center

Nicollet Mall, during one of the Thursday Farmer's Markets, at City Center at the corner of 6th St. Look Down!


Look down.

Manhole Cover A Manhole Cover A

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983
My designation of these as "A, B, C etc" is arbitrary.




Looking West on 6th Street, City Center to the left Looking West on 6th Street, City Center to the left

Following the trail of Manhole Covers around, 5/19/11
Manhole Cover B Manhole Cover B

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983
This one is hard to make out after 30 years. It's a figure with his/her hands palm up. What the rest is, I can't say.
Manhole Cover C Manhole Cover C

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983
Brats and burgers on a grill.
A standard manhole cover (one of several boring designs) A standard manhole cover (one of several boring designs)

Mpls manhole covers are usually fairly standard, as this example. The manhole covers around City Center are a major exception.
Manhole Cover D Manhole Cover D

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983
A man peering up out of the sewers. The symbol at the top is, I think, an "M" with an apple in front of it; "Minneapple".
Manhole Cover E Manhole Cover E

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983
Manhole Cover F Manhole Cover F

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983
Wine Glasses. Because the artist signed and dated his work, I was able search for the history!
Manhole Cover G Manhole Cover G

One of the manhole covers around City Center, from 1983



For artist names and other attempts at photographing the manhole covers, look at sewerhistory.org.

Art Inventories Catalog claims that 11 manhole covers were built for the theme "Entertainment in Minneapolis" and installed in 1984. But there are more.

Continued in City Center Manhole Covers Part II.
Tags: hidden minneapolis
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