Interpretation Project, Chicago Ave. and 26th St., Minneapolis

Panels-healing garden in bkgr

The panels with the healing garden in the background

Children’s Hospital recently completed a substantial expansion of its facility in the Phillips neighborhood in south Minneapolis.  The hospital serves as an important anchor in the community, providing jobs, services, and institutional stability.  However, it recognized that the expansion provided an opportunity to reach out to the community with other amenities that contribute to its overall health and vitality.  The expansion included an extensive art installation, including a “healing garden,” where children and their families can enjoy the outdoors.  The garden is also a bridge between the neighborhood and the hospital campus.

Additional aspects of the art installation were eight interpretive panels that tell the story of how the Phillips neighborhood developed.  The street corner at Chicago Avenue and 26th Street, an important transfer point for buses traveling east-west and north-south, was identified as a site to reach a broad community audience.  The panels were installed with graphics and “headlines” to attract people’s attention.  They focus on the theme of transportation, providing insight into the neighborhood’s history as well as broader historical patterns.  Chicago Avenue has been an important transportation corridor since the late nineteenth century, serving as one of the city’s first horse-car routes, then a major streetcar line, and later a bus route.

For highlighting an important facet of the community’s history in an attractive format that is available 24/7, this project has earned a 2011 Minnesota Preservation Award.

Owner: Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota; Public Advocate: Councilmember Gary Schiff; Landscape Architect/Graphics: Close Landscape Architecture; Historical Consultant: Hess, Roise and Company



A close up view of one of the panels