Landmark Lunches

Landmark Lunches

Top Twin Cities architects share their favorite buildings and offer their suggestions for a leisurely lunch nearby.

Rosemary McMonigal, AIA
McMonigal Architects

Minnesota State Capitol

“If you haven’t been on a tour of our iconic state Capitol building since a school bus drove you, it’s time to visit and appreciate this rare architectural treasure, designed in 1905 by architect Cass Gilbert. See the beautiful and historic spaces, materials, ornamentation, and vast art collection. Once you leave the Capitol, stroll to Meritage, one of my favorite restaurants. Enter through the 1915 Hamm Building, and stop to admire one of Minnesota’s finest lobbies, with its fantastic original terra-cotta detail. I love the corner window table in the bar, where you can watch the street action, see crepes being made, and enjoy the crowd of business folk, visitors, actors, and musicians from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.”

Minnesota State Capitol 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, 651-296-2881,
Meritage 410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5670,



Tim Quigley, AIA
Quigley Architects

Lakewood Memorial Chapel

“Until about 15 years ago, I’d never been inside the Memorial Chapel at Lakewood Cemetery, but upon entering the diminutive stone building, I was instantly transported to another world. It was reminiscent of Byzantium, [and had] Arts and Crafts tile mosaics covering every surface. It was both breathtaking and unexpected. The chapel was designed in 1910 by architect Harry Wild Jones, who modeled it after the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. While you’re at the cemetery, visit the new, equally fantastic Garden Mausoleum and Reception Center designed by Joan Soranno and John Cook of HGA Architects and Engineers. Afterward, have lunch at the Tin Fish in the Lake Calhoun Pavilion, where you can enjoy mahi-mahi tacos or fish and chips, plus a cold beer, on the patio overlooking the lake.”

Lakewood Memorial Chapel 3600 Hennepin Ave., S., Minneapolis, 612-822-2171,
Tin Fish 3000 Calhoun Pkwy. E., Minneapolis, 612-823-5840,



Tim Alt, AIA
Altus Architecture + Design

Riverside Plaza

“Ralph Rapson’s 1973 Riverside Plaza is a work of architecture that evokes strong opinions, both positive and negative. I like it and encourage others to look at it more closely, now that it’s going through a significant restoration effort. As a complex of buildings, it’s a composition of sculptural architecture and woven urban spaces. The variety of scale and form of the buildings create a collage that’s reinforced by the dynamic colors as a bold expression of De Stijl architecture animating the skyline. Riverside Plaza represents the optimism of urban design and high-density housing. The project is not just an object—it’s both urban space and bold architecture. Thus inspired, head over to Republic at Seven Corners for a Thousand Hills Chicago dog with fries and a pint of locally brewed Harriet West Side IPA, and toast to the spirit of Rapson.”

Riverside Plaza 1610 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, 612-338-8925, sherman
Republic 221 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, 612-338-6146,



Andrea Swan, AIA
Swan Architecture

Basilica of St. Mary

“The Basilica of St. Mary moves and inspires me. I respect its architectural and historical relevance: It was the first basilica in the United States, designed by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray in the Beaux Arts style. I’m always awed by its scale—large enough to host many, yet still intimate, like a house. I love the basilica’s urban context, nestled adjacent to one of the city’s busiest intersections, and a stone’s throw away from vibrant parks and restaurants. I also appreciate how the basilica has become a center for cultural events. The annual Basilica Block Party draws people from all walks of life to join and celebrate current music. After visiting the basilica, head north to the new Oceanaire on Nicollet Mall. I’m rather in love with it—the decor, the ambiance, the service, and, of course, the food. For anyone who loves oysters, I suggest the Barnstables—they’re as divine as the basilica.”

Basilica of St. Mary 88 N. 17th St., Minneapolis, 612-333-1381,
The Oceanaire Seafood Room 50 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, 612-333-2277



Steve Nordgaard, AIA
TEA2 Architects

Foshay Tower

“I’ve always had a soft spot for the Foshay Tower. One of my early child-hood memories is of driving with my parents while listening to WCCO as the announcer broadcast the weather from ‘the top of the Foshay.’ Designed by Magney & Tusler for Wilbur B. Foshay in 1929, the Foshay was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi and the tallest building in Minnesota from 1929 to 1971. From a contemporary perspective, the tower’s reincarnation as the home of the W Hotel is a nice example of adaptive reuse. Who doesn’t love an iconic building paired with a great steakhouse? Visit the 30th-floor observation deck and then indulge yourself, Wilbur Foshay style, with a delicious, bone-in tenderloin at Manny’s.”


W Minneapolis–The Foshay, 821 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-215-3700,
Manny’s Steakhouse 825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-339-9900,