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St Paul

The Architecture Behind a Brave Racoon's Viral Skyscraper Climb

09:30 - 11 July, 2018
The Architecture Behind a Brave Racoon's Viral Skyscraper Climb, © Evan Frost/<a href='https://www.mprnews.org/'>MPR News</a>
© Evan Frost/MPR News

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "SOM Explains Exactly How a Raccoon Scaled Its St. Paul Skyscraper."

After completing Town Square, a mixed-use, double-tower complex in the heart of St. Paul, Minnesota in 1980, the late architect Donald Smith of SOM told Architectural Record magazine, “We must reorient our attention to the center [of] cities to save them.”

Smith’s words were prophetic, it turns out, but not in the way he may have expected.

Last month, Town Square—now known as UBS Plaza—captured the attention of the globe as a scraggly, wayward raccoon climbed up its southern tower’s 25 stories.

The rough, exposed aggregate concrete facade allowed the raccoon to scale the building like a tree. Image © Evan Frost/<a href='https://www.mprnews.org/'>MPR News</a> When completed in 1980, SOM's Town Square project in St. Paul (designed by the firm's Denver office) was a prime example of late-'70s mixed use buildings. Image Courtesy of SOM / © Hedrich Blessing The complex, as late architect Donald Smith told Architectural Record at the time, aimed to foster development in urban centers "in terms of people, not the automobile". Image Courtesy of SOM / © Hedrich Blessing Detail of the building's concrete facade system. Image Courtesy of SOM + 7

Call for Papers: Society of Architectural Historians 71st Annual International Conference

18:00 - 3 April, 2017
Call for Papers: Society of Architectural Historians 71st Annual International Conference

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 71st Annual International Conference in Saint Paul, MN, April 18­–22. Please submit an abstract no later than 5:00 p.m. CDT on June 15, 2017, to one of the 45 thematic sessions, the Graduate Student Lightning Talks or the open sessions. The thematic sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods and architectural styles. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; scholars in related fields; and members of SAH chapters and partner organizations.

Farquar Lake Residence / ALTUS Architecture + Design

00:00 - 23 June, 2010
Farquar Lake Residence / ALTUS Architecture + Design, © Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby

© Paul Crosby © ALTUS Architecture + Design © Paul Crosby © Paul Crosby + 35