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The "Nine Lives" original poster artwork has been donated to SAAC by artist Foster Willey to support our continuing community efforts. 

Artwork based on the Central Avenue streetscape sculpture of Northeast Minneapolis artist Foster Willey has found another life – this time as  “Nine Lives,” a print project aimed at supporting local historic preservation and community volunteer efforts.

“Nine Lives,” a limited-edition poster-sized print, was designed by Willey using his drawings of Minneapolis' historic Shoreham Roundhouse. Printed in Minneapolis, the poster honors the legacy of the historic rail yard landmark located at 2800 Central Ave. NE and constructed in 1887. The Shoreham Roundhouse is one of the few such structures of its kind left in the nation. It has been designated a historic landmark by the Minneapolis City Council. In recent years, it was designated one of the state’s Ten Most Endangered Properties.

Community members consider the unique landmark building to be the cornerstone of redevelopment and revitalization of the area; they have pressed for historic preservation, pollution remediation and redevelopment at Shoreham Yards for more than a decade.

Sculptor Willey wanted to support those efforts.  In 2006 he was chosen by the city to create two “stelae,” 10-foot tall bronze, terra cotta and concrete relief sculptures incorporating images of Northeast Minneapolis’ rail, milling and river history. The work was commissioned as part of the city’s Central Avenue streetscape improvement project. The “Nine Lives” poster portrays iconic images from that project, a sketch of the Shoreham Roundhouse and its gracefully arching doorways.

“Even before the Central Avenue stelae commission, I had taken an interest in the roundhouse - its unique design and function," said Willey. "As a participant in Mayor Rybak’s Great City Design Team for the roundhouse, I saw that its revitalization was very do-able. The poster just came together during the design charrette using drawings from the stelae project. The poster is a way of helping SAAC draw attention to the current condition of the roundhouse."

Proceeds from sales of the 16” x 20” poster, printed on premium stock, are being donated to the all-volunteer Shoreham Area Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC, composed primarily of representatives from neighborhoods surrounding Shoreham Yards, was formed by a court order to serve as a forum for discussion of issues related to the 230-acre rail yard.

“Nine Lives” posters are available with a donation of $40 or more. As a special holiday-season-only offer, donations of $35 or more will receive a poster. (Shipping charges extra.) Posters will be available at community events, including SAAC meetings, or by special arrangement. For details contact saac-mpls@earthlink.net or call (612) 782-8241. Donations are tax-exempt charitable contributions as allowed by law. Checks should be made payable to HNIA.