This is a detail on the exterior of the Rand Tower in Minneapolis, my favorite downtown building. It’s a wonderful art deco extravaganza, built about the same time as the Foshay Tower but somehow a little classier, if shorter.
There are aviation motifs throughout the building, most notably the Oskar Hansen statue, “Wings”, in the lobby. The tower was commissioned by Rufus R. Rand, scion of the Minneapolis Gas Company and World War I pilot. These figures–wing-footed Hermes launching a biplane?–were one of my favorite sights when I worked downtown and would walk up Marquette Avenue every morning; why can’t architecture in the ‘burbs be more inspiring than concrete boxes broken up with reflective glass?