The skyways from IDS to City Center are buzzing with excitement for the 8th Annual USBank Skyway Open. Skyway My Way decided to do a little investigative journalism and find out what the USBank Skyway Open is all about.
First we spoke with Sam Maguire, Skyway Open Chairperson. (When he’s not organizing elaborate miniature golf tournaments, Sam is an Associate with Jones Lang LaSalle.) And then we talked with one of the student designers of the 16th hole, Nate McKewon.
Skyway My Way: What is the Downtown Network and why do you put on the Skyway Open every year?
- The Downtown Network is a group of professionals that work in downtown Minneapolis and get together on a monthly basis to network. The Skyway Open, sponsored by USBank for the last 8 years, features 19 one-of-a-kind miniature golf holes, and benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. Golfers are invited to sign up on our website here: http://www.skywayopen.org/registration.php.
- This year the U.S. Bank Skyway Open is expected to bring over 1000 golfers to the downtown skyway system, and is designed to draw all ages – from downtown professionals to families looking for children-friendly activities. Friday’s participation includes access to the course and to the 19th Hole Celebration. Saturday will provide golfers with access to the course and many children’s activities & Sunday a last chance to hit the links!
SMW: Who designs the holes?
- Architecture and design firms from the Twin Cities have designed most of the holes. And, this year we’re excited to have three student groups:
- American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Minnesota (University of Minnesota School of Architecture)
- Dunwoody College of Technology
- The Art Institute of Minneapolis
SMW: What guidelines to you give each team?
- This year’s theme is “Minneapolis Neighborhoods — Putt the City.” Each team was challenged to create 19 golf holes that capture the personalities of the city’s neighborhoods.
We also spoke with Nate McKewon, President of the AIAS-MN Chapter, and student of archtiecture at the U.
SMW: Tell us about your design.
- We chose the Stone Arch Bridge as the centerpiece of our design. Golfers have a shot at a hole-in-one, but if the ball falls off the 6″-wide bridge it will land in the Mississippi River (folded blue carpeting). We wanted to focus on the idea of “bridging” and making connections between students and the professional community.
SMW: What is that trapezoidal shape at the beginning of the hole?
NM: It’s a plan view of Ralph Rapson Hall at the University of Minnesota.
Here are few of the other holes: