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The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Re-Opens

Following a two-year renovation, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden reopened on June 10, 2017. Its renovations include new artwork, an underground water system to reduce pollution and a restructured arrangement of its art.

About the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Minneapolis Sculpture garden is truly one of Minnesota’s gems. It’s the result of cooperation between the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and houses some of the most beautiful sculptures in the United States. The park is 11 acres, and is home to 40 permanent art installations. It also temporarily holds pieces that rotate through on occasion.


The park is located in Minneapolis near Loring Park and the Basilica of Saint Mary. The park board purchased the land over a hundred years ago. At the time, the land was called “The Parade”, because the military used to run drills there. The name was changed to the Armory Gardens as it contained a National Guard Armory.


The Armory Gardens became a cultural center until 1913, at which point it became floral gardens. For 50 years it operated as such. During this time, a new armory was built downtown, and the Armory in the gardens was demolished. It was at this point that the land was taken over by the Minneapolis Park Board. It was used primarily for recreation and sports fields, until 1988, when it was renamed and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was opened.

Design and Features

The park was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, a well-known designer and architect. The landscape was designed by the noted landscape architect Peter Rothschild. A final 3.5 acres were added to the North of the gardens in 1992. This expansion is more open than the original, and features a 300 foot long arbor and flower garden in memory of Alene Grossman.

Notable Works

There are many notable sculptures within the gardens. Standing Glass Fish, by Frank Gehry is located in the Cowles Conservatory. The Irene Hixon Bridge is a pedestrian walkway that crosses over the I-94 and connects to Loring Park. It was designed by Siah Armajani. Perhaps the most notable is the Claes Oldenbur and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain, which is known as a centerpiece of the gardens.

The MInneapolis Sculpture Gardens combines two things that Minnesota is known for: natural beauty and rich culture. There is no downside to getting lost amongst its visual delights.


Walker’s sculpture garden re-opens, a week behind schedule.” – The Minnesota Daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2017.

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