Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District
Hail Minnesota, 1992
Cast Iron Manhole Covers
Kate Burke, New Wilmington, PA
Collection City of Minneapolis
Photo: Regina M. Flanagan
"Scattered in the sidewalk and roadway along the length of Mall, you’ll discover 93 unique manhole covers by Kate Burke with eleven different cast patterns. Hail Minnesota illustrates official state symbols including walleye, loon, lady slipper, wild rice and Norway (or red) pine as well as others significant to the state including the timber wolf, northern pike, Haralson apples (introduced by the Minnesota Horticulture Research Center in 1922), oats, wheat and corn.
Created in the early 1990s before computers, Burke produced the patterns entirely by hand in a process that shifted between positive and negative images. First, she layered and carved away dense chip board to produce reliefs with intricate details. Then, an impression of the carved pattern (a positive) was made in sand (creating a negative). When the molten metal poured into the impression hardened, the result was a positive image that matched the artist’s original carving.
Manhole covers with unique imagery appear in cities around the world and avid fans visit them and collect photos and rubbings. Because of their subtlety and sophistication, Burke’s manhole covers are especially popular and featured in many blogs."
This point of interest is part of the tour: Nicollet Public Art Tour