A Brief History
The city's first skyway connecting the new Northstar Center building to the Northwestern Bank Building opened in 1962. It was immensely popular, so slowly but surely new skyways appeared, often, but not always in conjunction with new construction. Wandering the system, you’ll probably be able to identify the skyway routes that were plugged into existing buildings – sometimes awkwardly.
The construction of the IDS in 1974 (still the tallest building in downtown Minneapolis) was a key moment for the skyway network. The building featured skyways connecting to buildings in all four directions, which integrated what was up until then a scattered system. The IDS junction also features the Crystal Court atrium, still the largest open public space in the network. In 2016, the skyways connecting U.S. Bank Stadium to the rest of the system brought the total length of pathways to over 8 cumulative miles.
With skyways now included in nearly all new construction in central downtown, maps and way finding signage became necessary. This effort improved navigation, and has evolved dramatically in helpfulness, but alas, people can still be seen standing in skyway junctions, heading spinning around, trying to figure out where to go next. All part of the adventure!