When the site for the current Minneapolis Fed was selected, it was to follow a series of historical uses, beginning with a summer camp for local Native Americans, and followed by the Pacific Sawmill lumber operation and finally the Great Northern Rail Depot.
Meet Gyo Obata, the Bank’s architect and a principal in HOK Architects of St. Louis, Mo., who discusses his design philosophy and his thinking on the design of the Minneapolis Fed in Interview with Gyo Obata, architect (The Region, September 1992).
See also Linking the past and future (fedgazette, October 1997), comments by Jean Kinsey, former Chair of the Minneapolis Fed Board of Directors at the dedication of the building.
The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, like the other Reserve Banks, allotted a percentage of its building budget to new artwork, in addition to relocating a collection from the previous Bank building. All the art was created by Ninth District artists, and each state is represented in the collection.
This River, This Place is an epic stoneware wall sculpture of the Ninth Federal Reserve District by artist Aldo Moroni.
Along the plaza walkway that leads to the Mississippi riverfront are five interpretive exhibits that depict the history of the site. They are titled respectively: A Great Waterfall (1805), Gateway to the West (1875), Growth of Commerce (1895), Civic Improvements (1925) and Transformations (1995).
A time capsule was sealed and placed in the building cornerstone at First Street and Hennepin Ave. in June 1997. Items selected for inclusion highlight current Bank operations, depict employee life and detail construction of the new building. Current Bank and local news publications were also placed in the time capsule. A duplicate set of materials is stored in the Bank's archives to be opened at a later date.