At the recent New Year’s Eve celebration in Washington, D.C., the scaffolding erected to repair the Washington Monument commanded the most attention. Its elaborate lighting and distinctive design were so attractive there was even demand for the scaffolding to remain in place. However, Target Stores has become involved in negotiations to purchase the scaffolding for it to be erected in Minneapolis. Its construction would be very appreciated in a city bereft of public monuments or artwork.
Target Stores had donated $2.5 million and helped raise $4 million for the monument’s refurbishment, and in 1998 the company hired architect Michael Graves to design the scaffolding. Target is attempting to purchase the structure’s aluminum tubing and nylon netting from Universal Builders Supply, the corporation that originally supplied the structure, for several million dollars. Target would like to donate the structure to the city of Minneapolis, where it would likely be erected in Washburn-Fair Oaks park in the Whittier neighborhood.
The scaffolding would greatly improve Minneapolis’ offering of public monuments, and its construction would provide an element around which future development could ensue. The most commonly suggested location is at the Fair Oaks park adjacent to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, located on 3rd Avenue South. The monument would greatly enhance the street, which is now being referred to as Avenue of the Arts.
Target Stores should aggressively pursue the purchase of the structure, local officials should provide approval and area residents and businesses should realize that its construction would greatly benefit both the neighborhood and the entire city.