Media Release: West Broadway business works with fire artists to re-imagine historic building

Shaina Brassard
West Broadway Coalition
1011 West Broadway, Suite 202
Minneapolis, MN 55411

For Immediate Release

West Broadway business works with fire artists to re-imagine historic North Minneapolis building

Minneapolis, MN. January 2, 2014. Like many buildings over one century old, 1501 West Broadway has seen a lot of change over the years.  The two-story building at the corner of Irving Ave N and West Broadway in North Minneapolis was once a livery stable, grocery store, dance hall, linoleum store and even a roller rink. Since 1979, it has been owner-occupied by Randy Lane and Sons Plumbing and Heating, one of the area’s most trusted plumbing businesses.

Last year, Randy Lane and Sons decided to make improvements to its building and the results have been incredibly well received.

Owner Gayle Lane applied and was awarded a grant from the West Broadway Façade Improvement Program, administered by the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC). This popular program provides matching grants to area businesses and property owners in order to improve the appearance of the neighborhood and bring art to the corridor. Other examples of the program’s work include the 4th Street Saloon, Juxtaposition Arts and Dimensions in Hair.

Inspired by the transformation of other businesses participating in the program, Lane hired Heather Doyle, a Minneapolis artist and owner of INDUSTRYelle, LLC.  Doyle previously collaborated on a façade improvement with West Broadway business owner Dr. Tara Watson on improvements to Watson Chiropractic (2101 West Broadway) and the newly opened Anytime Fitness (2104 West Broadway).

Doyle, a welder, designed and constructed metal canopies to replace the existing black cloth canopies. The metal canopies are attached to the building by elaborate metal fixtures, and strategically placed lights illuminate the artistry at night. While Doyle has participated in the creation of public art throughout the city many times, the façade improvement program projects are unique, bringing public art to the storefronts of small businesses.

Of the Randy Lane and Son’s building dating from 1901, Doyle says, “I love old buildings. I did some research into this building’s past uses…the final look of this project is inspired by the livery stables of old.”

The building, which houses the plumbing business upstairs and a Laotian senior services nonprofit on the ground floor, was also completely re-painted. “We’re very happy with the project. Heather and her team did a wonderful job,” shares Gayle Lane.

The INDUSTRYelle team included Doyle, a metal fabricator knows as Seven, artist-electrician John Stretch, contractor Bill Kordowsky and MBT Engineering.

About INDUSTRYelle
Heather Doyle has studied welding and metalsmithing from an artist’s perspective for more than a decade. She continues to explore the mediums of heat and metal through her business, INDUSTRYelle LLC, designing metal sculpture and creating custom fabrication on a commission basis. Heather taught Sculptural Welding and Blacksmithing at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College for seven years. She is now the Artistic Director and an instructor at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center. In 2006, Heather created “The SPEAK Project,” a South Minneapolis public art initiative, produced in collaboration with FORECAST Public Artworks, which uses various forms of visual and performance art to encourage youth to explore the subject of diversity and express their voices through creativity. Heather is a Minneapolis Arts Commissioner, a founding board member of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center and a member of the Artist-Blacksmiths’ Association of North America (ABANA).

The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) is a non-profit arts organization that fills a unique niche in arts programming for the Twin Cities region. Its vision is to be a regional center for learning, promotion, exploration, and creation of artist forms fueled by heat, spark, or flame, collectively known as “fire arts.” CAFAC provides classes to anyone with an interest, from youth to adult and beginner to master-level artisans. CAFAC also offers studio rental facilities and  features a storefront shop and gallery space.

About the West Broadway Façade Improvement Program
The popular West Broadway Façade Improvement Program has awarded over $250,000 in matching grants to improve 26 storefronts since 2008.  The current program is a collaboration between the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program, the McKnight Foundation, the West Broadway Coalition, local business owners and artists. Extensive photographic documentation of the project by Northside photographer Scottie Tuska can be viewed at

Randy Lane and Sons Plumbing and Heating
1501 West Broadway, Minneapolis 55411
(612) 521-8835
24 Hour Emergency Service
Heather Doyle
(612) 501-2213
3749 Chicago Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407

*Contact for full resolution images.

1. 1501 West Broadway, before and after
2. Detail shot of the awnings
3. 1501 West Broadway and neighbor Dimensions in Hair, former façade grant recipient
4. Heather Doyle outside the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
5. Gayle Lane outside her business


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