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ST. PAUL, MN-With the debut of the 77-foot-tall, 34-foot-wide Target Stage, the transformation of St. Paul’s Harriet Island Regional Park is complete, according to city officials. The recent construction of the $1-million Target Stage, designed by architect Michael Graves, gives Downtown St. Paul an additional performance venue and provides Harriet Island with an impressive, new riverfront structure.

Target Corp., the Minneapolis-based retailer, offered to fund the design and construction of a permanent stage for Harriet Island. In addition, Target offered the design services of Graves, with whom Target had partnered during the Washington Monument’s refurbishing process. Graves also has designed a variety of small appliances that Target sell in its discount stores.

“We believe Harriet Island will remain a special destination for future generations,” says James T. Hale, Target Corp. executive vice president and general counsel.

Graves drew from his experience designing other riverfront projects, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Riverbend Outdoor Theater, the new Cincinnati Reds baseball stadium and the Delaware River Port Authority headquarters (Camden, NJ). St. Paul’s architecture and natural beauty served as inspirations for the Target Stage.

“St. Paul is a strikingly beautiful city, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Target to create a structure that would not only provide a place for performers, but also complement the city’srich and varied design,” says Graves, who earned the 2001 Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects.

The stage’s two towers have an open lattice structure that harks back to bridge designs of the old Wabasha Street Bridge and High Bridge, which bracket the park.

The copper canopy, which eventually will develop a green patina, is akin to the copper form of the Cathedral of St. Paul and other Downtown roofs. The canopy also has a wavy front, reminiscent of an old theater curtain.

The St. Paul Riverfront Corp. in recent years put together a drive to raise private funds for most of the $15-million revitalization of the 70-acre park. An anticipated second phase would redevelopment of nearby Raspberry Island and the Lilydale area upstream.

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