The ill-conceived and long vacant Block E retail complex in downtown Minneapolis has lately become the subject of what-to-do ideas. The Journal of American Rocket Science has a two part solution.
Block E is incapable of re-use, and must be razed. This process can be a community participation event – a cooperative demolition derby, by teams of wrecking ball operators.
Who could be on these teams? You could, of course.
With a two hour course in wrecking ball machine operation, followed by a 15 minute exercise in manipulating a State Fair midway booth featuring a toy crane and bucket to pick up a shot glass in a pile of sewing thimbles. For the cost of $100, you can sit in the cab of the wrecking ball machine and pull the levers to make the huge steel ball swing into Block E. Each night, trucks would haul; away the debris to make the next day ready for the next wrecking ball jockeys.
When the site is totally cleared, the Journal of American Rocket Science implements a historic preservation-based team of architects and builders to create a new building complex, to be named the Slee Z Interpretive Center, replicating the long gone storefront of bars, greasy spoon cafes, adult book stores, and strip joints that once did business in this downtown block.
Patrons could step back in history to see, feel and taste what these enterprises once offered. In the Slee Z Interpretive Center, they could experience a replica of a bookstore selling trashy magazines, or taste simulated greasy food, People could pose as saloon customers to drink simulated rot gut whiskey, and see a group of actors pretend to get into a bar fight with billy club swinging cops throwing them out the door. And at Baudy Body, choreographed dancers would re-enact that time-honored strip and tease.
Soon, new generations, long inured to the antiseptic and squeaky clean downtown night life, will pump new energy and plenty of tax dollars into downtown Minneapolis.