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American Express Financial Advisors Tower
Human Resources departments are taking over the skyline. How so, you ask? They've decreed that the workplace is more productive when more employees share each floor. The gigantic corporation that bought the big local company that brought us the soaring IDS tower has erected a new building with roughly the same amount of office space, but in a shorter, wider package. It looks like a hotel.

AT&T Tower
The goofy Big Artichoke is the most prominent part of the unfortunate International Center, which would look right at home beside a freeway interchange in Bloomington.

Baker Block
The Baker block is the no-nonsense heart of downtown Minneapolis. You will find no shoppers or tourists here. I'd wager that almost everyone in Minneapolis knows somebody who works in one of these four buildings. Then I'd make it double-or-nothing that they couldn't tell me where the Baker block is.

Dain Rauscher Plaza
Competent skyline filler.

Foshay Tower
Minneapolis' most beloved building

Hennepin County Government Center
Our local home for bureaucrats and ne'er-do-wells. The Hennepin County Government Center is about as ugly as can be on the outside. Inside, however, is a soaring 20 story atrium that one can admire while waiting, and waiting, and waiting for those license tabs.

IDS Center
For several years in the 1970's, the IDS tower stood lonely, yet proud, over the city of Minneapolis. A common joke among kids at the time was to extend one's middle finger while sassing "Minneapolis skyline". Twenty years later, the IDS has plenty of company up high, but, due to economics and deference - not statute, as many believe - this stunning tower remains the city's tallest building. Good for it.

LaSalle Plaza
I love LaSalle Plaza. The classy tower. The Funky fountain. The grand grand stairway. The soaring arcade. The stone, the plants, the benches. Love it.

Medical Arts Building
Once upon a time, it was possible to design a boxy building that was interesting to look at up close or from blocks away.

Andersen Consulting Tower
Already on its third name in twelve years, the former Metropolitan Center and Lincoln Center is a wonderful building that should be around long enough to get re-named about 450 times.

Norwest Center
Cesar Pelli's design was an instant classic when it was built in the late '80's. The Norwest Center is truly a great building, possibly the best of its kind anywhere. The only bad thing about it is that it makes people overlook our old classics, the NW Bell and the Rand.

Multifoods Tower
This is not the ugliest building downtown. It is, however, the ugliest skyscraper. I once lived in Denver for three years, where the tallest tower is a nearly exact copy of this thing, but bigger. Most of the rest of Denver's buildings are equally uninspired. I missed Minneapolis. I moved back here.

Midwest Plaza
If you ask me, unbroken vertical lines can make any building good.

Northwestern Bell Building
This old warrior has lots of really cool exterior details, but no public lobby or skyway connection. I guess the phone company is afraid of its customers.

Northstar Block
Here, it is possible to get lost without crossing the street. The Northstar block consists of five buildings that seamlessly meld together at the skyway, street, basement, sub-basement, second sub-basement, and third sub-basement levels. It's a twisted, three-dimensional labyrinth of corridors, stairways, elevators, and unmarked doors. M. C. Escher would love it.

One Financial Plaza
Minneapolis' one and only pure International style tower. A truly handsome work of glass and steel.

Pillsbury Center
I think this building is underrated. Sure, it is not pretty or dramatic, but it does have some very strong points. The trapezoid shapes are ideal for a two tower complex.  The lobby is excellent.

Fifth Street Towers
It seems to be impossible to take a bad picture of this building. It looks good from any angle, crisp and clean but never boring.

Piper-US Bancorp Center
To be fair, Piper Jaffray doesn't design, build, or own the buildings that it occupies. Still, they bear the Piper name, and I'm sure that at some point some executive from Piper has some input in their design. For the second time in just over a decade, that guy should have sent a note to the architect simply asking "please try harder." He didn't.

Piper Tower (old)
Even Piper has given up on this monument to the Reagan era. It is slick, gee-whiz building, utterly without soul; a big shiny assemblage of cheap parts.

US Bank Place
My opinion of this building depends entirely upon the angle from which I am looking at it.

Rand Tower
Life got you down? Try the Rand Tower's suicide ledge. On it you can sit, despondent, two-hundred-plus feet off the ground, with cops and clergy at your side, just like in the movies. Then you'll realize that your life can't end with a dramatic plunge to the sidewalk because it's on the other side of the building. You'd merely crash, without dignity, into a parking ramp. You'll feel better tomorrow.

Plaza VII
While the Multifoods tower may be the ugliest skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis, Plaza VII is the worst. The Multifoods tower was obviously done on a budget. The architects for Plaza VII were far more ambitious, making for a much more gruesome failure.

TCF Tower
This plump little cockroach is a fitting home for Minneapolis' #3 bank.

 U.S. Courthouse
Except for the truck-bomb-proof blank wall on the 3rd Street side, it's a pretty handsome building.

Soo Line Building
What was once the city's tallest skyscraper now anchors the corner of 5th and Marquette with quiet dignity.

  100 Washington Square and
111 Washington Avenue
Great big white blocks on stilts.  Could be worse.