Federal Reserve Interpretive Plaques



Practice Area


Federal Reserve Bank

Project Vision

Five 65-inch bronze plaques interpret the settlement of Minneapolis Gateway District at five periods in history. The Minnesota Historical Society, HOK Architects, McGough Construction, and the Federal Reserve Bank provided input for the project. Gruppo coordinated all participants, interpreted design intent, scale, treatments and methods for completion. The biggest challenge was to focus all groups on a workable plan, then execute the approved plan by coordinating a disparate group of disciplines.

Project Details
The challenge in the complex as a whole was to find the means to reintegrate the reclusive, even pompous iconography of a federal banking facility into the historical heart of Minneapolis. The means chosen – an exploration of the changing map of the Gateway District over a seventy-year period – is particularly effective in situ, inviting the observer to compare 2-and 3-dimensional features of the diagrammatic bronze plaques with the actual site on which they are located, including a spectacular suspension bridge over the Mississippi, etched against the skyline outside bank's front entrance. The plaques also connect the inside and the outside of the building in a whimsical way. The decorative identity of the interior has been established by a huge ceramic sculpture mapping the same terrain in a wider view. So the plaques serve to link one language system with another, inside with outside, art with the built environment of the urban infrastructure.
Juror 1
Design Team

James Fetterman (Principal in Charge), Deborah Beckett

Design Firm



Carol Zele


Gruppo Inc.