Community Planning & Economic Development

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Guthrie Theater

Location: 818 Second Street South

Status: Completed in 2006

Objective: Allow the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater to expand into a three-theater complex, providing another major cultural attraction along the Minneapolis riverfront. This helps achieve the City’s goal of planning and developing a vibrant, sustainable community.

Description: The new award-winning Guthrie Theater complex was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel (with local partner Architectural Alliance) and includes three theaters (totaling about 2,050 seats), an educational center, and consolidated production and administrative offices. The variety of performance spaces (including thrust, proscenium and studio stages) has allowed the Guthrie to diversify its programming and audience. Public amenities include a restaurant and dramatic spaces such as the "endless bridge" that are open to the public. In its 2006 – 2007 season, the Guthrie offered 513 performances attended by 343,749 patrons; another 93,989 people benefited from education and community programs.

Partners: The $125 million, 225,000 square foot complex was built by the Guthrie Theater Foundation on a site that was assembled by the City of Minneapolis and sold to the Guthrie. The City worked closely with the Guthrie and its design team on planning, zoning, design and regulatory approvals. In addition to significant fundraising completed by the Guthrie, tax exempt bonds issued by the City and a $25 million grant from the State of Minnesota were used for construction funding. The City also covered environmental remediation costs, constructed a municipal parking facility to serve the Guthrie area and completed other complementary public improvements in the area.

City Contact: Ann Calvert, Principal Project Coordinator, (612) 673-5023

Updated: November 5, 2008

Last updated Oct 27, 2011



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