Landscape architects unveiled the first detailed renderings of their plan for the Downtown East Commons Wednesday.
The design for the new Minneapolis city park in front of the Minnesota Vikings stadium includes a shallow reflecting pool, which could quickly be drained and turned into a plaza to make more space for events. There will also be gardens, children's play areas, a cafe and a "great lawn" that could accommodate up to 7,000 people.
Portland Avenue runs through the middle of the park and will be closed only during special events.
Landscape architects have proposed narrowing Portland to two vehicle lanes, removing parking, and expanding bike lanes. They also want to use different types of pavement to signal to motorists they're passing through a pedestrian zone.
City Council Member Jacob Frey says the images will jumpstart fundraising for the project.
"They say that a picture is a thousand words and in this case a picture could mean up to $15 million as well," Frey said. "I mean it's a little bit difficult to raise money before you know what you're paying for. Now that we've got the beautiful pictures, now's when the big fundraising effort commences."
A private non-profit organization is leading the fundraising effort. It aims to raise about $20 million to build the park and support its operation.