Minneapolis’ Iconic “Music Wall” May Be About to Disappear
If you've ever driven around downtown Minneapolis, you may have seen the music mural on the building at the intersection of S Marquette Ave and S 10th Street.
Nicknamed the "Music Wall," the five-story tall mural is today considered an iconic piece of Minneapolis history. With a four-star rating, Trip Advisor has it as No. 82 of 199 on its list of things to do or see in Minneapolis.
While countless Minnesotans pass by the mural everyday, few actually know who put it there or why. According to a 2014 article by WCCO, a columnist for the former Minneapolis Star in the 70's had written about the wall -- when it was still exposed -- observing how ugly it was. Someone should make the building "sing" she wrote. At the time, the building was the headquarters of Schmitt's Music, and the company decided to do just that -- make the wall sing! Asking its advertising manager to find a particularly challenging piece that would make the wall look good, the company settled on a piano piece written by French composer Maurice Ravel called “Gaspard de la Nuit," or "Gaspard [treasurer] of the Night." The piece has three movements, the section depicted on the wall coming from the third movement called “Scarbo.” At 22 minutes long, "Gaspard de la Nuit" is considered one of the most difficult solo piano pieces.
The mural became an iconic location to see for visitors to Minneapolis after Prince was photographed in front of it during his rise to stardom. Other celebrities and artist have paid tribute to Prince and the Music Wall, including former Minnesota artist Lizzo.
In January, various outlets including the Star Tribune and The Current reported that the parking lot next to the Music Wall had been sold to a Houston-based developer. While plans for the lot haven't been revealed yet and development wouldn't destroy or remove the Music Wall, it could threaten the mural's visibility. So if you've never gotten a selfie in front of it, now might be the time to!
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