Doors Open festival coming to Minneapolis

Building owners and operators across Minneapolis will open their doors to the public May 18-19 as part of a new citywide celebration.

Doors Open Minneapolis will allow members of the public to tour iconic Minneapolis buildings such as Target Field, the Basilica of Saint Mary and the IDS Center for no cost. The event will include about 120 buildings in all areas of the city, and the buildings will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Building operators will allow access on a first-come, first-serve basis, with an exception for people who volunteer at the event.

Scott Mayer, an organizer of the event, said the goal is to tell stories about Minneapolis’ past and show where it’s headed. Some buildings show elements of different historical eras, he said, while others, such as The Nordic in the North Loop, show what the city’s future looks like.

Doors Open Minneapolis mirrors other building-oriented events held in other U.S. cities. Chicago, for example, has hosted a similar event since 2011 and last year had 257 sites included in its celebration. Milwaukee’s Doors Open event saw 26,100 people visiting approximately 170 sites last year.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey praised the event in a press conference Tuesday in Bellisio Foods’ Loring Park-based innovation center, located above the Lunds & Byerlys at 12th & Hennepin. Bellisio, which manufactures and distributes frozen foods, is one of the event sponsors and will open the innovation center up for tours during the event.

Frey called Doors Open Minneapolis a “celebration of civic pride,” and said the event is about telling the city’s story. He also called it an “ideal day date.”

Dan McConnell, business manager of the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, said the event allows his organization to highlight what it’s done to build the community. He said he’s hoping people will come out to learn more about great jobs in the city.

Doors Open Minneapolis is being funded by corporate sponsors and the Minneapolis Foundation. Comcast is the presenting sponsor, and over a dozen other organizations are sponsors.

Metro Transit will offer complementary passes for the event, Mayer said, and four property owners downtown will offer complementary parking.

Event planners are looking for 1,000 volunteer greeters to help out at the different sites around the city. Volunteers will receive a Doors Open Minneapolis T-shirt and front-of-the-line access at all venues. The first 100 volunteers to sign up will also receive a free copy of the book “AIA Guide to the Twin Cities.”

Visit doorsopenminneapolis.org to learn more about plans for the event or to sign up to volunteer.

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