Crystal Court, Minneapolis’ Central Gathering Place, to be Renovated


IDS Center owner Accesso to update functionality and aesthetics to create a more dynamic and engaging environment

Thoughtfully crafted plan calls for collaborative seating areas, more natural tree cover and green space, and an infinity edge fountain

Lead architects and consultants include Perkins and Will and New History

MINNEAPOLIS – October 06, 2020 – Accesso, a fully integrated investment manager and operator of multi-tenant office buildings, is excited to announce the renovation of the Crystal Court, a central gathering place located within the famed IDS Center. The 57-story office park and retail center designed by world-renowned architect Philip Johnson has been at the center of the Minneapolis community for nearly 50 years. The renovation plan for the Crystal Court – which was thoughtfully designed in collaboration with local architects and consultants Perkins and Will and New History – entails updating the functionality and aesthetics of the space to better meet the evolving needs of today’s consumer.

Deb Kolar, General Manager at Accesso and the IDS Center, said, “As someone who has been entrusted to oversee the IDS Center for more than half of its history – 27 years and counting – I know firsthand how meaningful the Crystal Court is for the Minneapolis community. I could not be more excited to announce this plan as we approach the property’s 50th anniversary. The refreshed space will pay homage to Mr. Johnson’s legacy by accommodating all of the different ways people prefer to interact and engage today. The IDS Center is known as the country’s first ‘social skyscraper,’ and this renovation aligns perfectly with his original vision for the space.”

The Crystal Court originally opened in 1972 as a destination where people from all walks of life come together to deepen their connections with their community, and the renovation will ensure this special place remains a fixture in Minneapolis for many years to come. The updated Crystal Court will feature new collaborative seating areas with modular furniture; an enhanced grove of overstory trees that will rise directly through the granite floor – from a new large planting bed below – to form a tall, healthy canopy of greenery; and a new infinity edge water feature that will visually and acoustically foster a sense of park-like serenity.

Councilwoman Lisa Goodman, said, “The IDS center is an iconic building in the Minneapolis skyline and on Nicollet Mall. The continued investment in its public spaces is not only a benefit to the tenants, but to the whole community that has used the Crystal Court as an indoor park for decades. I am excited about the renovations to the Crystal Court and appreciate the continued investment in our downtown. Bravo on what looks to be a beautiful project!”

IDS Center is considered the centerpiece of the downtown Minneapolis skyline and a landmark for business and commerce in the Twin Cities. It is conveniently located at the core of the skyway system for the Minneapolis Central Business District (CBD) and provides easy access to parking, light rail stations and dedicated bus routes. This distinctive property also includes nearly 2 million square feet of mixed-use space; a two-story retail center; the 19-story, four-diamond Marquette Hotel; and an enclosed eight-story urban park. The Crystal Court has been referred to as “one of America’s best indoor spaces” by the Star Tribune for its vibrant environment and ability to host a wide range of events such as concerts, performances, blood drives, sports broadcasts and other gatherings.

David Dimond, FAIA, CID, LEED AP, Principal, Design Director for Perkins and Will’s Minneapolis office, said, “For Philip Johnson in 1972, the Crystal Court celebrated how people move across time. Time is shortened for pedestrians who flow quickly between street and skyway as they link into downtown. Time is stretched for those who find water, trees, and casual seating an invitation to pause, gather and engage. In 2020, we feel lucky to be refining opportunities for such engagement within this beautifully timeless place.”

Steve Cramer, President and CEO of MPLS Downtown Council, stated, “Phillip Johnson’s Crystal Court in IDS Center is truly one of the iconic and most beloved sites in downtown Minneapolis. The planned update will solidify that legacy for generations to come. And it couldn’t come at a better time as our downtown looks forward to a strong bounce back from the challenges of today. This timeless space reminds us of the enduring importance of downtown to the economic and social fabric of our entire community.”

Accesso will be donating a total of 68 benches that previously were part of the Crystal Court to The Minneapolis Good Chair Project to ensure they continue to remain part of the Minneapolis community. The Minneapolis Good Chair Project was created by a group of volunteers led by Minneapolis resident Mark Addicks, in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The goal of this first-of-its-kind program is to create a comfortable, welcoming environment to take in all that Minneapolis’ award-winning parks have to offer.

About IDS Center
IDS Center is a 1.42 million-square-foot, 57-story Class A office tower, urban park and retail center located at the core of the downtown Minneapolis skyway system. Designed by world-renowned architect Philip Johnson in 1972, it is one of the most prominent properties west of the Mississippi River. The IDS Center is home to the Crystal Court, a central gathering place for the Minneapolis community, where thousands of people from all walks of life – businesspeople, musicians, artists, athletes and families – come to meet, make memories, network, and forge and deepen friendships at any time of year.

About Accesso
Accesso is a full-service, vertically integrated commercial real estate investment manager, owner and operator that aims to provide superior returns to its U.S. and international individual and institutional investors. Accesso’s focus is on acquiring office properties in non-gateway metropolitan statistical areas, representing the fastest growing metropolitan cities and premier suburban submarkets throughout the U.S. Accesso’s property portfolio includes 35 office properties covering 15.6 million square feet. Its affiliate, Accesso Services LLC, provides proactive, cost-efficient property management services with an owner’s mindset. Accesso Partners LLC is headquartered in Hallandale Beach, FL. and has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Minneapolis.

About Perkins and Will
Perkins and Will, an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm, was founded in 1935 on the belief that design has the power to transform lives. Guided by its core values—design excellence, diversity and inclusion, research, resilience, social purpose, sustainability, and well-being—the firm is committed to designing a better, more beautiful world. Fast Company named Perkins and Will one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in Architecture, AIA MN honored the Minneapolis Studio with the 2019 Firm Award, and industry rankings consistently place Perkins and Will among the world’s top design practices, With an international team of more than 2,700 professionals, the firm has over 20 studios worldwide, providing services in architecture, interior design, branded environments, urban design, and landscape architecture. Partners include Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen; retail strategy and design consultancy Portland; sustainable transportation planning consultancy Nelson\Nygaard; healthcare technology planning firm Genesis; and luxury hospitality design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR). For more information, visit

About New History
New History creates innovative solutions to increase the use and viability of existing and historic sites and structures. The firm offers a dynamic and integrated team of historians and licensed historical architects with nationally recognized expertise, as well as professionals with specialized experience in historic preservation, real estate development, preservation regulations, and the financial framework for reuse. Our distinct services and expertise provides clients with real strategies, exceptional project management, historically and culturally relevant design development, and regulatory guidance to achieve successful outcomes. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, New History works with clients throughout the Upper Mississippi River Corridor and beyond.

ICR for Accesso
Megan Kivlehan, Matthew Chudoba or Greg Michaels