Crumpet Park, Minneapolis - Mystery Solved

May 10th, 2007 - 7:01pm by Slye Fox
Tags: crumpet park

There is this cool park downtown that you've probably driven past many times. The plaza of the Federal Courthouse has a number of grassy lumps inhabited by stout little figures frozen in the midst of various activities. I've stopped by and peeked and relaxed a few times and the likeness of the wee sculptures to crumpets is uncanny. Thus I've dubbed the place Crumpet Park.

Click here for directions.

Although I have my doubts as to whether the artist is enlightened to crumpet-knowledge, I am curious as to who made these bronze creatures of downtown and why they're so interested in the giant poo-pile that has eaten a few of them and resides as the focal point. Here's what I dug up (via google of course.)

The plaza itself was designed by Martha Schwartz back in 1997 and won lots of awards apparently. From the Courthouse site:

The mounds are intended to evoke a memory of geological and cultural forms. They suggest a Minnesotan field of glacial drumlins, a stylized hill region, or, like a Japanese garden, a landscape that allows a dual reading of scale - a range of mountains or a low field of mounds. Ranging in height from three to nine feet, the tear-shaped mounds are planted with jack pine, a small, stunted, pioneer species common in Minnesota's boreal forest. The log benches, evocative of the great timber forests that attracted immigrants and provided the basis for the local economy, tell a similar story. The association of timber with Minnesota speaks to the heart of Minnesotans' collective memory, and the plaza leaves a strong emotional imprint on the people who visit it.

Sure -- I think they look like grassy whales surfacing in a sea of concrete. To each his own, though.

Then there's the sculptures that were added in 1999 by Tom Otterness. Entitled "Rockman", the bronze statues aren't given much publicity on his site, so I'm not sure what his inspiration was. Most of his other sculptures are similar in nature, however. Ergo, I'll refer to them as crumpets.