Modernist headquarters building of Minnesota corporation subject of battle between city government and preservationists
ST. PAUL — The squat, unassuming building at 900 Bush Avenue here seems an unlikely centerpiece for a battle between the St. Paul Port Authority and neighborhood preservationists. The two-story structure is dwarfed by a former factory across the street, and the only hints of its significance are brass letters above the door that proclaim Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, today known as 3M.
The building, designed by the industrial architect Alfred Kahn and built in 1939, previously served as 3M’s executive office building. Known locally as Building 21, it sits at the center of the former 3M manufacturing campus, whose 46.5 acres are currently being redeveloped by the Port Authority as an office and light industrial park a few miles from downtown St. Paul.