Rand Tower is poised to be reborn as a contemporary hospitality icon that doesn’t forget its Jazz Age origins.
In need of a breath of new life—yet centrally situated in Minneapolis’ expansive, 8-mile-long Skyway System—this 1929 building presented an ideal locale for a boutique hotel experience as unique as its Art Deco architecture.
The last time Minneapolis went through a boom like it’s experienced in recent years, speakeasies served bathtub gin, lo-fi Victrolas trilled Ain’t Misbehavin, and the newly completed Rand Tower was one of the city’s tallest and most boldly modern structures—renowned for its aviation-inspired Art Deco motifs. Nearly a century later, the market in Minneapolis is again rapidly growing and Rand Tower is ready for its second act.
With a prime location at a skyway hub that sees over 10,000 pedestrians each day in a business district with over 42 million square feet of office space, this unique property impressed us with its strong potential for steady growth in revenue per available room—but only through careful leveraging of the Historic Tax Credit program. Navigating the HTC system with expert consultants, we secured over $20 million in credits that allowed the project to take flight.
The hotel is the living, breathing contemporary embodiment of Rufus Rand Jr., our historical namesake and the visionary builder of our glorious Art Deco tower.
A look around will reveal touches inspired by the artifacts of a life lived larger than life—a rich pastiche reflecting this dashing adventurer, brilliant engineer, restless inventor and daring airman. His relentless pursuit of discovery and mastery is evident in the hotel’s spaces, décor, and the very special experiences designed to provoke curiosity and encourage engagement.
In the guest room, we selected and sourced materials, palette and design details that are informed by both Rand and the Art Deco era: hardwood, stretched canvas, and polished brass—which are softened by a cloudscape on stretched canvas above the headboard.
In the Great War, Rand flew missions with the Lafayette Squadron, a young group known for their cocky and devil-may-care attitude. Having taken on formidable enemy fire, close calls and losses of their brothers in arms, nothing embodied raucous spirit of the squadron more than Whiskey and Soda, the adopted lion cubs they referred to as “house cats”.
What better inspiration for a roaring good time? Whiskey and Soda’s extraordinary cub-hood among the fliers provides a rich thematic opportunity for their namesake bar, with elements related to the cubs themselves, flight, heroics, WWI, the Lafayette Squadron—and a vibrant atmosphere of camaraderie and joie de vivre. Santé!
Exclusive and unabashedly clubby, this place is a vivid tribute to curiosity, love of discovery, and a no-holds-barred desire to live life fully.
Portraits of famous adventurers fix their steady gaze upon today’s explorers, connecting present to past, past to present. Layers of trinkets and all manner of souvenirs offer insights into the adventurous life, each one a memento of a journey of the spirit. Inspiring and endlessly interesting, ours is a place where adventurers of any era will feel comfortable, welcomed and celebrated.
With construction managed by Ryan Companies running smoothly ahead of schedule, Rand Tower Hotel and its outlets are slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2020—and already generating buzz on lists of the Twin Cities’ most anticipated destinations.