Life evolving behind the lens

Unexpected Art: Light Rail Edition 6

Our final leg of this photo tour takes us into northeastern Bloomington, MN. Yes, the Mall of America is in the area, but there’s still plenty to see before you get that far. When you roll out of the Humphrey Terminal station, your first stop is the American Boulevard station. This is actually the newest stop and did not open until December 2009. It’s also unusual in that the platforms are split apart due to the intersection where the station is positioned. I spend a lot of time at the platforms since I work in one of the nearby office buildings. So does my husband. The ironwork that adorns the platforms reflects the area’s mix of business and the nearby wildlife refuge. A variety of styles can be seen in the panels.

not an expected platform color
sounthbound platform sampling
business and nature
another version of business and nature
nature rendered in rust

Next up: Bloomington Central Station. This station has a more nature-centric aesthetic to it, even though it’s actually further from the wildlife refuge than the previous stop. Even so, it’s decor highlights the untouched land not too far away. The binary Fibonacci Sequence numbers on the platform floor also show nature being combined with technology, as other science/business organizations have buildings in the nearby area.

seeking shelter in the suburbs
first tree in the glass
close up of the glass treescape
extreme leaf close up on glass
a string of the binary sequence
details of the zeroes and ones

Not too far away is the 28th Avenue Station. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure what’s behind the decor at this stop on the line. I really don’t know. It borrows some elements from the Bloomington Central Station but has too many sharp lines to fit a natural aesthetic. The tree renderings are rather abstract, and the floor tiling echoes back to the Indian patterns seen throughout the line. The tiling seems to clash with the other decor on the platform. I will say this, though. It is a great place to find unexpected straight lines. Have a look and decide for yourself.

stark like one of my favorite seasons
abstract tree on glass
now with reflection!
So shiny you could check your nose for boogers!
Can anyone tell me how this fits?
cold and gleaming yet very intriguing
somehow they align just right

So…what about the Mall of America? Let me tell you something about that station. It’s a bit of a dump. The station is on the ground level of a parking ramp and has terrible light. On top of that, dust and dirt particles get stuck on the ceiling. Transit hubs tend to be a little scuzzy, but this one shouldn’t be. It caters to tourist and should have more aesthetic interest than some of the sign frames being painted in primary colors. In my opinion, the lighting situation needs to be addressed before the platform gets a revamp. Really, the whole hub area needs a revamp, but that’s not pertaining to the light rail. As for what to do with the platform itself, I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t paint all the railings yellow, if only because yellow ages horribly. I’d also get some heat lamps on the platform for the winter months and maybe have the infrastructure for those be made by local artisans. I’d even be okay with the artwork playing up the kitschy tourist angle a little bit. It just needs a facelift and stat. For being the gateway to a hot destination, the Mall of America light rail platform looks terrible.

We have now concluded our tour of the Hiawatha Light Rail Line Station Art. What would you like to see next?


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