When event organizers put together the premier Doors Open event for the Twin Cities (held this past weekend across the City), they were banking on hearty Minnesotans flooding the open venues, rain or shine. And rain it did! But that didn’t deter visitors from coming out by the thousands, interested in a behind-the-scenes look at more than 100 buildings in the City of Minneapolis that are architecturally, culturally, or socially significant.
For example, at The US Post Office and the Federal Reserve Building, subject matter experts gave guided tours illustrating why these venues, and the people that work in them, are such marvels. At some of these venues, visitors waited up to 30 minutes at peak times for that behind-the-scenes look. You may have seen some of these tours showcased on television news segments over the weekend.
As one of the event’s contributing sponsors, United Properties held its Doors Open at The Kickernick, The Nordic, and Ford Center. While there were no waiting lines, there was definite interest in these UP-owned and operated spaces, with more than 1,000 people visiting our three open venues overall.
And the UP buildings didn’t disappoint. The Nordic’s beautiful, roaring fire in the lobby was an inviting spot for people to warm up before venturing out for another round of tours. Many Nordic visitors commented on how the building’s aesthetic definitely made it appear to have been standing, along with its neighbors, for more than a century. We heard kudos about how United Properties had definitely “done things right”, often noting that this isn’t always the case when new construction buildings are added to a historical landscape.
Among its steady stream of visitors at The Kickernick Saturday morning, the team welcomed Urban Sketchers of the Twin Cities. Urban Sketchers is a global network of artists who draw the cities where they live, along with destinations on their travel lists. The group included an architect who designed Ovative’s space at The Nordic, along with his talented elementary school-age son, who spent time drawing the Kickernick lobby and its surroundings. One of his drawings is included here!
And at Ford Center, HGA’s Bill Blanski welcomed more than 500 people over the two-day event, often sharing the Ford Center story to 30 people at a time. Bill shared that some people were hoping to see a restored Model T, and not just a restored lobby that used to show Model T’s!
Doors Open Minneapolis is a collaboration between the Minneapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the City of Minneapolis. This year’s premier event offered the community a chance to explore the buildings that tell our city’s story. United Properties is proud to be a part of that story as we continue to enrich the community through commercial real estate.