Three SW projects nominated for city urban environment awards

The 32nd annual Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) Awards recognizes Minneapolis projects that considered community input in design and function, Thursday, May 6, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Historic Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave. S. — a venue that is among the 21 finalists.

At least three Southwest projects, the Linden Hills Library, East Calhoun Tot Lot, and 3rd Avenue Bridge, are also among the finalists.

CUE, a volunteer organization, rewards urban, architectural or environmental design; historic preservation; streetscapes; neighborhood improvement; parks and open spaces; public art; special events; and personal achievement that contribute to urban quality, aesthetics and livability. The only requirement is project completion within the past five years in the city of Minneapolis. The number of awards given and the goals of nominees vary.

For example, the restoration of the Pantages, for its "reuse of a gem," according to CUE spokeswoman Meg Forney, makes it a worthy candidate. The Mill City Museum was nominated for its unique adaptation of past and present infrastructure. "It involved the community in its aesthetics in a creative, novel way," said Forney.

"There are large architectural firms that spend a lot of money on their projects and then smaller groups that can’t afford that. What do they have in common? The urban environment — how does that add to the fabric of the city," she said.

Nominees with Southwest roots include:


  • The Linden Hills Library, 2900 W. 43rd St., was refurbished to reflect feedback from both the Linden Hills Library Advisory Committee and neighborhood residents, "synthesizing the building’s architecture and neighborhood’s character," according to its nomination.



  • The ECCO Tot Lot, near the Lake Calhoun refectory, is a collaboration between the East Calhoun Community Organization (ECCO) and the Minneapolis Park Board in 1999. The nomination states "the Tot Lot reflects values of those for and against a ‘just-for-tots lot,’ preserving the area’s quietude, shoreline, parkway access and bike/pedestrian paths."



  • 3rd Avenue Bridge over I-94 connecting downtown and Stevens Square. Unique for its Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired curvature, the CUE nomination said, "it stands out, with colorful paneled railings, graceful spires and walkways."


    At the ceremony, there’ll be an hour of socializing and a keynote speech by, Weiming Lu, president of Lowertown Redevelopment, who was CUE’s first staff person.

    Registration begins at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are $30. To make reservations, send a check made payable to "Friends of CUE:"

    Committee on Urban Environment

    350 S. 5th St.

    Mayor’s Office

    Minneapolis, MN 55415