Skyway to Nowhere

Weird Nicollet Tour, Minneapolis

Skyway to Nowhere

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, United States

Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District


Corner of S Marquette Avenue and 5th Street

For over 10 years a skyway dangled here leading to an empty parking lot and a 30-foot drop off. Sealed to the outside world, the “skyway to nowhere” was reminiscent of the famous “escalator to nowhere” from the Simpsons’ most famous episode, Marge versus the Monorail episode, which ended with the city of Springfield building a massive escalator that led nowhere.

I liked to imagine innocent bystanders walking to their office after lunch, stepping into the skyway to nowhere, and falling 15 feet off its edge as it dangled over the parking lot. Perhaps there would be a trampoline or giant mattress waiting for them at the bottom.

In truth, though, the skyway was simply sealed up for a decade, leading from the Fifth Street Towers buildings, which dated to 1988, over a surface parking lot that had once housed an old building but was now waiting for development. Over in downtown Saint Paul, there was another skyway to nowhere extending over Wabasha Street and dangling over a parking lot by the former Dayton’s building. While that one-sided skyway was eventually removed, here in Minneapolis the abandoned skyway was re-connected when the new mixed-use “Nic on Fifth” tower was built. I can only imagine that the skyway breathed a sigh of relief when its doors were finally opened up again after years of fruitless impasse, and it was finally reconnected to the rest of the downtown system.


This point of interest is part of the tour: Weird Nicollet Tour, Minneapolis


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