Sunday, September 28, 2008

In Plain Sight | UMore Park

Suddenly, the roads turn to gravel, the subdivisions turn to cornfields, and eerie concrete skeletons fill the horizon.

Twenty-five miles southwest of its bustling urban campus, the University of Minnesota is trying to figure out what to do with the 5,000 acres of rural land it was given by the federal government following WWII. Originally commissioned as an ammunition plant, the war ended before the Gopher Ordnance Works could be fully completed. Now known as Umore Park, a hodge-podge of research facilities fill in the acres between unfinished smokestacks and water treatment wells.

What's your vision for this important opportunity?


John Gavin Dwyer, AIA said...

Wow. How did you manage to get the two semis perfectly in symmetry. Nice shot!

Brandon Stengel said...

Most of it was luck. Umore Park sits halfway between I-35 and the Pine Bend Refinery (aka Koch Refinery), so Hwy 46 is full of tanker trucks.

The rest of the photo was patience. About an hour of it.

Anonymous said...

They should preserve it as a historical site. Then, hire a competent architect to build an eco-friendly building quaintly tucked into the landscape that serves as a government run museum--showcasing the ammunition manufacturing that occurred during WWII. This is all very
historic and it would be a shame to tear down these artistic structures for the sake of more sheety suburban neighborhoods!!!

Anonymous said...

And, the 5000 rural acre site should be converted to native prairie restoration and oak savannah with interpretive trails. That way, the project preserves both social and economic history tied to the ammunition manufacturing during WWII as well as preserves our natural history in prairie biome. Similar to the Little Bighorn Memorial in Montana. It could be very nicely done.

Brandon Stengel said...

The Center for Rural Design has proposed the inclusion of an interpretive center. For more information, and to see their research on Umore Park, visit their website.