Citywide event to open up buildings around UMN

More than 100 businesses, landmarks and performance centers will participate in Doors Open Minneapolis May 18 and 19.

Visitors celebrate at the top of Witch's Hat Tower on Saturday, June 1. Built in 1913, Witch's Hat Tower has been a major landmark in Minneapolis for generations. New developments have been proposed near Prospect Park, and the Prospect Park Association is concerned that the height of developments will block the view from the tower.

Tony Saunders

Visitors celebrate at the top of Witch’s Hat Tower on Saturday, June 1. Built in 1913, Witch’s Hat Tower has been a major landmark in Minneapolis for generations. New developments have been proposed near Prospect Park, and the Prospect Park Association is concerned that the height of developments will block the view from the tower.

Miguel Octavio

An upcoming event will offer the public a behind-the-scenes look at the culture and history of Minneapolis buildings. 

More than 100 venues will participate in Doors Open Minneapolis May 18 and 19. Participating businesses include several around the University of Minnesota and its nearby neighborhoods. Event sponsors announced the festivities late last month. 

As part of the program, visitors to the Textile Center in Prospect Park will get the chance to learn how fiber art is produced through activities in the center’s learning spaces. 

“When we got the opportunity to apply for the Doors Open Minneapolis, we thought this is a good opportunity to be able to be part of a whole cohort across the city,” said Karl Reichert, executive director of the Textile Center. 

The Witch’s Hat Water Tower, a historic Prospect Park landmark, has stood tall since 1913. Typically open once a year, the observation deck will be accessible to the public both days in May, allowing for a view of the city from above. 

Gayla Lindt, vice chair of Friends of Tower Hill Park, said the event is an opportunity for the neighborhood to gather. Plans to keep waiting lines short both days are still underway, she said. 

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to help open the tower more because we know there’s a lot of desire on behalf of the people who live in the area and guests who grew up [near] the tower,” Lindt said. 

Neighboring Surly Brewing Co. will offer half-hour tours to inform visitors about the history of the brewery. The business will also highlight work by local artists in the brewery with self-guided tours. 

“It is exciting to tell Surly’s story from its inception with our owner with the move to Minneapolis to where we are today,” said Andrea Graham, senior brand experience manager for Surly. 

On campus, various spaces throughout Northrop Auditorium like the Carlson Family Stage and the Best Buy Theater will be open to the public on May 19.

The project architect of the building’s renovation will provide tours about the architectural transformation of Northrop from a performance center to a multipurpose space. 

Weisman Art Museum will also give tours featuring the architecture and history of the building. 

Visitors may also choose to embark on self-guided tours using a tool called the “Perceive” card, which allows them to view the artwork in-depth. 

“[The Perceive card] teaches you how to look art slowly and thoughtfully,” said Erin Lauderman, director of marketing and communications for the Weisman. “There are prompts on the back of the card so you can choose any artwork in the back of the museum and then work through the set of activities.”

Mixed Blood Theatre on the West Bank, along with the A Mill Artists Lofts and the Pillsbury Flour Mill in Marcy-Holmes, will also participate in May.