The redesigned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden has replaced formality with whimsy, reinvigorating a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.

By Writer and Photographer: Robin Pfeifer
Spoonbridge and Cherry

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden reopened this summer after a two-year, $33 million makeover. Here's what you'll find at one of the country's largest urban sculpture gardens:

1. Better views. Gone is the formal English Garden aesthetic with rows of perfectly groomed hedges that created sectioned-off rooms like an outdoor museum The new layout incorporates a lot of sunlight and breathing room. The foliage has been thinned so you can see all the grounds, regardless of where you're standing.

2. New sculptures. The 11-acre garden displays more than 40 pieces including 17 new works of art. Many of the new pieces incorporate a playful mix of color, texture and shape, like Katharina Fritsch's big blue rooster Hahn/Cock and Robert Indiana's LOVE.

3. New homes for old favorites. Spoonbridge and Cherry continues to be the garden's focal point. It now rests in a large pond in the shape of a linden seed.

Spoonbridge and Cherry

4. Environmental upgrades. One of the main reasonsfor the reconstruction was to improve stormwater drainage and create a more sustainable park in an area that was once primarily marshland. The pond around Spoonbridge and Cherry, for instance, connects to an 80,000 gallon underground cistern that stores stormwater as well as excess water from the sculpture's fountain for reuse in irrigation. Visitors can't see the cistern, but signs explain how the system works.

5. Room for fun. A tilting maze game, gumball machine and garden gnomes keep mini-golf lively at the artist-designed course in the northwest corner near Bryant Avenue. Elsewhere on the grounds, you might find families playing Frisbee, teens taking selfies in front of the sculptures and friends practicing yoga in the grass.

The sculpture garden is open 6 a.m. to midnight daily. Admission is free. For more information, see walkerart.org/visit/garden.

Advertisement