Another historical building that fell victim to urban renewal was the last standing piece of Metropolitan Stadium, torn down in 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 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 also part of what creates a market for re-purposed and re-used architectural elements. Personally, we believe in adaptive re-use of historic structures, which does two main things: it preserves the structure itself, and allows 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.
A small example of just this was the section of railing from the Metropolitan Building here in the store. 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! Some local sources say 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.