U of M School of Architecture Celebrates 100 Years

Updated: 08/27/2013 10:28 PM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz

The University of Minnesota School of Architecture is celebrating its 100th birthday. From Norway to Lebanon, the Lake Harriet Band Shell to North Memorial Hospital, U of M Architecture graduates have left an imprint on Minnesota cities and beyond.

"U of M architecture students have gone on to build a very strong profession here in the community. Our community is an exporter of architectural services, around the world and around the country," said Tom Meyer, founding partner of the architectural firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. Meyer designed the Mill City Museum.

As a budding U of M architecture student in the early '70s, one of Meyer's first visions was a museum dedicated to the history of St. Anthony Falls.

"It had an auditorium, it had exhibit space, it had outdoor space, it had a way to progress down to the river, I just put it on the wrong side of the river," Meyer said.

Decades later, Meyer's early thoughts led him to design the Mill City Museum; mill ruins cradled by modern architecture.

"The museum tells the story really of the history of Minneapolis, in a National historic landmark, and in a place that I'm proud and excited has become a community gathering space," Meyer said.

Current architecture students and faculty also built a "Chromagraph" for the centennial celebration in the Rapson Hall Courtyard on campus. It shows each year of the school's existence and the types of degrees given out with more than 8 thousand #2 pencils.

"There's a lot more freedom in form and design that I think are possible given our tools and technology," said masters student Daniel Raznick, who helped design and build the Chromagraph.

"I think the school's ability to cater to this diverse breadth of what architecture can be is really where it's going in the future," Raznick said.

The School of Architecture centennial celebration takes place October 25 and 26.