Amidst the cities and rural towns that exist in Minnesota, some very unusual and fascinating buildings stand. Creative architecture that is both aesthetic and functional can be found throughout the Twin Cities and it is often enjoyed and admired by local and out-of-state visitors alike. While the natural scenery of Minnesota is famously beautiful, some man-made scenery reflects artistic beauty within the state as well. By visiting the Twin Cities, one can enjoy spectacular works of architecture nestled among the beauty of the state. Some buildings that represent the best architecture found in the area are listed below.

(credit: CBS)

Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 375-7600

The Walker Art Center is located on the fringes of downtown Minneapolis and stands as a remarkable building enjoyed by any passersby. Originally a privately owned collection of artwork, the Walker has become an 11-acre venue for art and theatre as well. The art center was originally designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes and expanded by Herzog and deMeuron. Adjacent to the Walker is the famous Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a beautiful urban sculpture park. The building contains a 385-seat theatre, expansive terraces on the roof and ground levels, plazas and high ceilings at 17.5 feet in some galleries.

Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum
333 E. River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 625-9494

Located on the University of Minnesota East Bank Campus, the Weisman Art Museum is a fascinating structure that can be glimpsed from the University Avenue Bridge. Designed by Frank Gehry to be an “accessible, functional and innovative” museum building, the Weisman Museum won the Progressive Architecture Design Award in 1991. This University of Minnesota landmark is a glimmering structure along the Mississippi River that houses relevant artwork as well as creating its own relevance as a work of art.

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With it’s sleek décor, low-lighting and art-deco sofas, the Living Room brings a touch of the cosmopolitan to the Twin Cities. (Credit:

Foshay Tower
821 Marquette Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 215-3783

Modeled after the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., this towering structure in the center of downtown Minneapolis represents urban architecture at its finest. Designed by Leon Eugene Arnal, the Foshay Tower houses a swanky hotel as well as fine-dining establishments on the ground level. The Tower consists of 32 floors and stands at a height of 447 feet. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Foshay Tower is among the most famous buildings in Minneapolis. 

(credit: CBS)

IDS Center
80 S. 8th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 376-8000

The most famous and renowned skyscraper in the Minneapolis skyline, the IDS Center is the centerpiece of downtown Minneapolis. This building has achieved Hollywood status by appearing in the opening credits of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1972. The team of architects responsible for the IDS Center consisted of Philip Johnson, John Burgee and Ed Baker; three visionaries who sought to create the most beautiful urban skyline in the midwest. The IDS Center is home to many retail shops and restaurants that can be accessed by the street level during business hours.

Round Barn Farm
28650 Wildwood Lane
Red Wing, MN 55066
(651) 385-9250

What good is a list of architectural accomplishments without a round barn? Round barns have always been interesting and popular attractions for sightseers. The Round Barn in Red Wing, Minnesota is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Henry and Mary Dammon built the barn in 1914 to house dairy cattle on their working farm. The barn is currently located aside the Round Barn Bed and Breakfast and functions as a location available for wedding receptions, reunions and other large events.

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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on