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MINNEAPOLIS-Although it has yet to decide the Guthrie Theater building’s fate, the Walker Art Center has begun the necessary process for demolishing the 1,300-seat theater once its current tenant moves to its new theater home. The art center is working on plans for a $90-million expansion that will add more than100,000 sf of interior space and four acres of green space to its complex near the Loring Park neighborhood.

The Walker is presenting its application to raze the theater to the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, who will forward its recommendations to the city council. The Walker would likely use the space for expanding its parking and adjacent sculpture garden. But the Walker has also commissioned a report to examine possibilities for using the theater for other purposes. Some preservationists believe the building is a significant culture icon.

The Walker owns the Guthrie facility, but no destruction would take place before the Guthrie moves to its proposed new facility on the Mississippi riverfront, which is expected to be completed by about 2005.

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