Skyway #3 connects the tallest building in St. Paul, Wells Fargo Place — or, more technically, the complex it’s a part of — with the World Trade Center Parking Ramp. Wells Fargo Place was formerly named the Minnesota World Trade Center, and though it was renamed in 2003, the parking ramp somehow kept the moniker.
In addition to office workers, this Skyway gets a fair amount of foot traffic from little kids (a rare sight downtown) going to and from the Children’s Museum. This was also a Skyway I used to navigate fairly often when working at McNally Smith. It’s on the foot route between my apartment and my former office, as well as the office and Bruegger’s, Walgreen’s, a handful of Caribou Coffees, and other dis-/attractions.
I was asked a few days ago why I was drawing all the Skyways, when “they’re all kind of the same.” And while that’s certainly true to some extent, my response then and now is that, with closer observation comes a greater appreciation of the (admittedly) often small, even insignificant details that differentiate them. Looking — really looking, the way you have to in order to capture a naturalistic representation on paper — always results in a deeper understanding of the underlying forms and patterns of an object, and of its relationship to its surroundings (though the surroundings aren’t pictured above). Trivially speaking, #3 is unique in that it’s one of the longest Skyways, stretching all the way across West 7th (a pretty major artery throughout St. Paul). The large supporting structur lands right in the median of 7th, and offers some neat little niches on either side of the Skyway — a breather at the halfway point, maybe — with great views of MPR and Wells Fargo Place, as well as down W. 7th toward the airport.
Beyond surface details, speaking from experience, I would venture that there might be more joy in Skyway #3 than any other. My coworkers and I noticed, after many bagel runs, that the aforementioned children in the Skyway were more often than not running through the space. Many kids (likely still riding the Children’s Museum high), react to it much in the same way a 17-year-old with a sports car might to a stretch of open highway — they can’t resist booking it from one end to the other.