It’s my way or the skywayDate: January 28, 2021
Inspired by my trips out to our garage to start up our vehicles during these frigid MN winter mornings and another interesting 99% Invisible podcast episode that I recently listened to… I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about how nice it would be to have a skyway at my house.
FL to MN or Bust!
I grew up in Duluth, MN for most of my life. We moved there from Naples, FL so not only was my first trip through downtown Duluth the first time I saw snow but it was also the first time that I saw a skyway. After making our way through the first winter that I spent in MN, I quickly learned why the skyways are there. With a cold blasting wind shooting right off the shore of the adjacent Great Lake Superior it would make even the most seasoned Duluthian shiver. With the skyways available however you could easily navigate your way throughout most of the entire downtown Duluth area without a thought of putting on your jacket.
It’s Twins… Cities that is!
As noted in the podcast episode by 99% Invisible my new hometown Minneapolis and its neighboring sister city St. Paul, are also a well known area for their skyways and connections throughout all of the downtown shops and businesses. The podcast gave some interesting insight into how these were developed and why, along with some surprising issues they have brought to the downtown area and the people that have used them over the decades. Definitely worth a listen and always fun to hear and learn things about the place you/we live.
Am I onto something here or on something???
Now what if we can take the same warmth and mobility and apply it to our home. That would be much better than having to gear up in full just to run out to our garage and back before our nose freezes. It would also provide a sense of bringing the outside world closer and into the home even though you’re technically inside. I learned this and some other perks of incorporating a skyway to your new build in this Country Living article.
What if we connect our houses?
To highlight another skyway and continue to keep things local, I also found this gem of an article about St. Paul’s iconic “Double Home” with half skyway by the Star Tribune. This house or houses were originally built by the Goodkind brothers in 1910 and the skyway was used as a sheltered connection for them to each others house. This incredibly unique home still holds all the character and craftsmanship of a 1910 Elizabethan style home and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This article is also worth a read and to click through the pictures of this outstanding home.
I may be dreaming and the idea of a skyway being included to a new home build may be a bit eccentric but I challenge you not to give it a thought the next time we’re faced with a 4 degree day.
Have a great day, stay safe and stay healthy!