Another historical building went to the end. The last standing piece of Metropolitan Stadium was taken down at 2014. "The “East” parking sign was located in the North parking lot at Mall of America. It was the final piece of decades of Minnesota history that took place at Met Stadium. The sign will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to be auctioned off in support of Type 1 Diabetes research."
As an architectural salvage company, the destruction of structures like this is bittersweet. While we obviously love architecture and we love old stuff- that’s why we are in the business- the death of old historic structures gives us a niche to fill. Restoration and preservation of buildings like these maintain an area’s sense of place and character, but demolitions are in part what creates a market for re-purposed and re-used architectural elements. Personally, I believe in adaptive re-use of historic structures (much like what Art Space does, which I referenced in a previous post) which does two main things- it preserves the structure itself, while allowing for renovation of the building for modern use. This also means that rooms and floorplans are changed, so business like Architectural Antiques can come in to remove interesting and valuable elements to be resold and reused in different settings. It is a win-win.
Here we have a small example of just this- a section of railing from the Metropolitan Building here in the store. Unfortunately, its has a “sold” sticker on it, but has sat unclaimed for over a year. In the future, you may have a chance to own a part of local and very pertinent history! (Can’t make any promises, of course). In the meantime, feast your eyes on some original railings from the Metropolitan! A rare item, indeed! On the wiki page, a source citing the Pioneer Press says that there were some masonry in a warehouse in Delano from the Metropolitan building… so there are some remains of the building still floating around… supposedly.
We love to see continued preservation efforts, but in a responsible way that promotes businesses, quality living, and neighborhood vitality! That idea, coupled with re-use of architectural elements in new designs, may be the future of how cities are built.