Skip to main content

Collection on the Nicollet Mall

Identifier: M/A 0308

Description of Contents

The collection includes newspaper clippings, newsletters, fact sheets, reports & studies, project plans & proposals, and promotional material. Memoranda and meeting minutes from the Nicollet Mall Implementation Board are also included. Most of the collection centers around two main mall designs/re-designs, one in the late 1960s and the other the late 1980s.


  • Creation: 1960 - 2001



The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


The segment of Nicollet Avenue running through downtown Minneapolis from Washington Avenue to Grant Street is officially known as Nicollet Mall. The name was changed to reflect the street's redesign of the 1960s, which converted the bustling downtown street into a curving, shopping promenade.

Planning for the Nicollet Mall began in the late 1950s at a time when many downtown businesses were relocating to the suburbs and retail sales were on the decline. In 1955, a group of downtown property and business owners, retailers, and consultants formed the Downtown Council in order to respond to these changes and to strengthen the downtown community. The council's goals included creating more attractive urban spaces and specifically stated that there should be a pedestrian mall on Nicollet Avenue. Studies were conducted and it was suggested that a transit mall would be the best option for Minneapolis. In 1961, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and transportation consultants Barton-Aschman Associates were hired to design the Mall. Construction began in 1965 and was completed in 1968.

In June 1987, BRW Construction was chosen to update the Nicollet Mall, which was showing its age with broken sidewalks and deteriorating fixtures. The structural overhaul straightened Halprin's curvilinear street path, and introduced new materials, lighting, signage, and art to the space. The Nicollet Mall Implementation Board was formed in 1987 to oversee the Mall's renovation project. The project was completed in 1991 and the board dissolved. From 2015 to 2017, another renovation of the Mall was completed by New York firm James Corner Field Operations. The new design incorporated more trees and gathering places along the street.


4 boxes (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Collection on the Nicollet Mall
Bailey Diers
December 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.