Revitalizing Saint Paul with The Macy's Building

by Bill Wenger | Feb 19, 2013
| 2 Comments

Summary:

The three floors of Macy’s is the perfect venue for revitalizing Saint Paul. One floor would become another version of the Midtown Global Market. One floor would host art/craft fairs, antique shows, and invention expos, and would provide a low-cost alternative to expensive trade show venues for those industries that can’t afford high-cost exhibition spaces. The third floor would be devoted to indoor sports and recreation. There could be a well-designed mini golf course, a 9-hole Frisbee golf course, and a play area for young children. To be successful, the spaces would need to be of the highest quality to attract visitors. This concept supports local entrepreneurs (The Marketplace), provides a year-round space for recreation (The Playground), and provides an ever-changing, re-invigorating exhibition space (The Fairground).

If I lived/worked near the Midtown Global Market I would visit it each day, but I live in downtown Saint Paul, so I rarely make the trip to Midtown. The Saint Paul skyway food courts cater to the employees that work in neighboring businesses, and have limited, lunchtime hours. We need a Marketplace that is open from morning to evening, including weekends.

The design of The Playground could be a pro-bono collaboration by the Twin Cities top design firms (we have a good number), to produce an award-winning experience that attracts people year round.

About You

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About You

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Bill

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Wenger

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Your idea

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Title of your idea

Revitalizing Saint Paul with The Macy's Building

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

The three floors of Macy’s is the perfect venue for revitalizing Saint Paul. One floor would become another version of the Midtown Global Market. One floor would host art/craft fairs, antique shows, and invention expos, and would provide a low-cost alternative to expensive trade show venues for those industries that can’t afford high-cost exhibition spaces. The third floor would be devoted to indoor sports and recreation. There could be a well-designed mini golf course, a 9-hole Frisbee golf course, and a play area for young children. To be successful, the spaces would need to be of the highest quality to attract visitors. This concept supports local entrepreneurs (The Marketplace), provides a year-round space for recreation (The Playground), and provides an ever-changing, re-invigorating exhibition space (The Fairground).
If I lived/worked near the Midtown Global Market I would visit it each day, but I live in downtown Saint Paul, so I rarely make the trip to Midtown. The Saint Paul skyway food courts cater to the employees that work in neighboring businesses, and have limited, lunchtime hours. We need a Marketplace that is open from morning to evening, including weekends.
The design of The Playground could be a pro-bono collaboration by the Twin Cities top design firms (we have a good number), to produce an award-winning experience that attracts people year round.

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Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

To successfully revitalize Saint Paul, we need need to make the city a destination that appeals to many different interests. The existing museums and entertainment venues certainly contribute, but history shows these are not enough. By converting the ideally located Macy's building into the 3 venues described, the city will be a magnet for more visitors, 7 days a week. There will be something for everyone. The key is to execute a superbly designed space on each floor, ensuring repeat visitors. The Marketplace will support small businesses, like those at Midtown Global Market. The Playground will attract families year round. The Fairground will ensure novelty with art/antique fairs, minor trade shows, and invention expos. Who would expect so much, from one empty building?

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Living in downtown Saint Paul, I know the city is a ghost town on weekends, with the skyway businesses shuttered at the end of the business day. Saint Paul needs an infusion of more visitors, and a reason for Saint Paul residents to stay in the city rather than "cross the river" for the attractions of Minneapolis. Adding one more museum, or entertainment venue, to the ones we have will not make a difference. We need a multi-pronged approach such as can be realized by converting the 3 floors of Macy's into The Marketplace, The Playground, and The Fairground. The latter will attract out-of-area visitors, and bring traffic to The Marketplace. The Marketplace would be a sibling to the provenMidtown Global Market. The Playground will provide a year-round space for family-friendly activities.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Urban renewal, including the conversion of empty buildings into successful enterprises, has had mixed success around the country. The key to success is a well-designed space, and the Twin Cities happen to be home to some of the best designers in the country! These designers will be motivated to make the Macy's conversion not only a design jewel of urban renewal, but a magnet for visitors. Being successful, the Macy's conversion will attract publicity and be a role model for other cities in the U.S., and the world. The key is great design and execution, attributes that are in our MN blood.

llhjl hlhj said: They are very particular on building a good and strong relationship with each other. - Roger Stanton about this Competition Entry. - 2539 days ago read more >
Helen Broderick said: Bill, Great idea, I live downtown and it is like a ghost town after work hours and week-ends. Helen Broderick Open Easel about this Competition Entry. - 2858 days ago read more >

Bill Wenger updated this Competition Entry. - 2891 days ago

Bill Wenger submitted this idea. - 2894 days ago