Most Unprepared For Winter Award
A beautiful glass and steel building with the famous sticking out... wing? diving board? on the roof. It's gorgeous, and it also collects snow, which falls off, which means the outside is surrounded by yellow caution tape for much of the snowy season. A block of ice falling on your head from five stories up would severely affect your enjoyment of your library visit.
Honorable Mention : The Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Snow and ice collect in the ruins, which necessitates the closure of the wonderfully spooky Ruin Courtyard for large parts of the winter. It doesn't win this category, because it's a ruin, and filling in the windows would spoil the museum.
"Most Green" AwardWinner: The Bell Museum of Natural History, Minneapolis
This category isn't for eco-friendly green buildings, it's old-fashioned green colored. The Bell Museum has so much ivy growing on it, it can be hard to find the way in when they haven't pruned in a while.
Honorable Mention: The Spruce Tree Building, St. Paul. It's greener, and it's green all year round. But it wins another award (see below) so I thought it fair to give another building the top position in this category.
Ugliest Building Award
A cell-phone signal graphic rendered in bright green 1970s bathroom tile. This building is so remarkably awful that the Incredible Hulk would probably love it for a toast rack. There's a perpetual "space for lease" sign on the side. Perhaps the interior is as flabbergasting as the outside?
Most Awe-Inspiring Award
Stunning to believers and non-believers alike, St. Paul's Beaux-Arts Cathedral is as impressive as the great European cathedrals, standing as a monument to faith, and the history and people of St. Paul.
Best Shiniest Building Award
Minneapolis has several shiny, silvery modern buildings, but the Guthrie Theater wins for being the most lovely lustrous twilight blue.
Honorable Mentions: The shiny, silvery Walker Art Center and the shiny, silvery Wiesmann Art Gallery.
Weirdest Building (In a Good Way) AwardWinner: The University of Minneasota Alumini Building.
Never have so many negative words been applied in a good way to a structure. It's such a lump - but it's a really great lump! The inside is really brown - but it's the most perfect warm, organic color. It's like a cave - fantastic! It's all wonky - incredible. Ect. This is one you have to visit because no photograph can do it justice.
Most Beautiful Building AwardWinner : The Weismann Art Museum. Some people say it looks like a deflating souffle. I think it's lovely. Frank Gehry designed the museum, and is currently plotting an extension. I'm excited to see it.
Honorable Mention: The Marjore McNeely Conservatory at Como Zoo, St. Paul. A lovely light, delicate glass and iron structure from the turn of the century.
Most Unlikely Interior (Judged by the Exterior) Award
The outside is gray and beige stripes. The inside lobby is completely unexpected - three stories of black marble, bank vault chic gold bars, and gold leaf in Art Deco style. The mirrored ceiling and the 38 foot tall Carl Milles' white onyx God of Peace statue save it from being overwhelmingly oppressive. It makes paying a parking ticket slightly less unpleasant.
Honorable Mention : Salon Rouge, Minneapolis. Outside, dull. Inside, Marie Antoinette tripping on a very refined form of acid. Red, with gold, chandeliers and poodles, all imported from French flea markets. One of the more glamorous place to have your hair done in the Twin Cities.