Designs for a new downtown building for Hormel’s Spam Museum have been given preliminary approval, and city officials in Austin, Minn., are happy to see the popular attraction moving into the city’s core.
The museum has been located in an old Kmart building in town, but is now closed pending the move. It’s scheduled to open in the new 14,000-square-foot building on Main Street in April, 2016.
The Austin Daily Herald’s story about the plan approval, though, elicited some sneers from locals, worried about how the new building will fit in with the rest of downtown.
(This is the city that saw much public outcry against a proposed new city logo last year, leading to the dumping of the idea. Many didn’t like the way the logo was designed to look a tin of Spam.)
One commenter in the Austin paper said the museum plan, with its blue accents, looks like an IKEA store.
“It does not even attempt to match the surrounding architecture. The old building would have fit in nicely here,” wrote another.
And: “Just what I feared. The 1960’s-inspired designs are all the rage these days. Unfortunately, they’ll likely age just as badly this time around as they did the first time. It appears very little continuity or inspiration was used from the surrounding buildings, nor from the buildings that were lost in the fire. What a shame.”
But there were design defenders, including:
“You can blend old and new successfully, and I feel this has been accomplished. Sorry there are so many of you writing who don’t appreciate the initial picture. I think you will all be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Try to keep your mind open citizens of Austin. Things aren’t as bad as you are making it out to be.”