Rafter's vision was created by a talented team of architects, designers, and developers strengthened by a committed ownership group and dedicated management team. It was built with quality construction by more than 900 skilled tradespeople. Each individual contribution combined to create an extraordinary building. Rafter is introducing a limited series to highlight and celebrate the stories of those that helped craft the Rafter story.
Most people are familiar with the term “flock of pigeons” and even “gaggle of geese,” but did you know that a group of turkeys is called a "rafter"?
Northeast is known to have an entertaining wild turkey population – they have a Facebook fan page, and have been featured in the news from City Pages to the New York Times. The name phonetically strikes an edge, and the themes associated to this story can be related to all things bold, fearless and authentic while celebrating a little piece of the character of the Northeast neighborhood.
Unit Type: 2 Bed, 2 Bath | Levels: 8-19 and 23
Meet Dan O’Keefe, Project Manager of Rafter with Mortenson. Dan started working on Rafter in January of 2016 as the design project manager, coordinating the design phase and planning with the city prior to his role as the construction Project Manager on site, racking up over 3 years working on Rafter. He has worked through it all, from a classic Minnesota April blizzard in the middle of pouring concrete, to topping off the 26th floor. Here’s what Dan has to say about this incredible project:
"I started working on Rafter in January of 2016. Being a part of the project from the beginning of design phase, moving into construction and seeing Rafter through completion 3+ years later is pretty awesome! We have a great team on this project with Ownership, Designers Engineers, Subcontractors and all of the trades Men and Women that made this project happen. There has been an incredible amount of quality work that 900+ workers have put their own skills on display every day. Each individual contribution comes together to create this amazing building that will forever change the skyline of Minneapolis. I am incredibly proud of this project and hope each person that had a part of it has an opportunity to bring their families by the building and say ‘I helped build Rafter."
Unit Type: 2 Bed, 2 Bath | Levels: 7-19
Keith Wyman under the moniker Concrete Pig created multiple sculptural pieces for Rafter, including the mighty front desk, made of over 2,800 pounds of concrete. As the name suggests, Wyman’s primary material is concrete, but mixes in wood and steel to create beautifully structural pieces of furniture. Here is what Keith had to say about his start in furniture craft, and building the front desk for Rafter:
"My wife and I bought a house and that respurred a need to work with my hands and build. I demo-ed a bunch of stuff and wanted to make a concrete sink and a coffee table. Within 2 months I destroyed my basement making a bunch of concrete furniture and it almost overnight took on a life of it’s own. The [Rafter] desk is exciting. I love the idea of problem solving and designing for the space, I try to always push and design new things.
A lot of these pieces with wood and steel, and especially concrete – 95% of the buildout is working in and around that negative space and you can build up a piece and prep for a week just for that 30 minutes of pouring concrete. So much can go wrong, which is part of the love-hate nature of the material."
Beyond the desk, Wyman has made his mark on the building in a few other spaces. Find a quiet space to do your “do” at the reclaimed wood bar top in the home office, or stage your dinner party crudité on the moody credenza in the private dining room. If you fancy your own piece, shop Concrete Pig creations from the source itself.
Unit Type: 1 Bed, 1 Bath | Levels: 11 13
Project Engineer: Helped managed the work being done out in the field and managed concrete material procurement.
"Most exciting part was seeing it go up, as simple of an answer as that is. Seeing the excitement around it. You see people walking around the streets and always looking up, and seeing the interest around the project and how excited people are. We do safety lunches every once and a while, and our superintendent Dave has a catering business on the side so he roasted a pig on several occasions. The thing is that any work that you do on site that involves a flame of any sort you have to fill out a hot work permit, have a fire extinguisher, all that. So on the day we had a safety lunch, it was my turn to do a safety audit and I noticed that Dave didn’t have his hot work permit, so he had to fill out the permit and get his fire extinguisher - we had a good laugh about it and got to eat some good pig after that. I knew I wanted to be an engineer and got interested [in construction] after some career fairs so I went for Civil engineering. I knew I wanted to be out, not sitting behind a desk doing design or something like that. I wanted to do construction and put something into place. That’s kind of the nature of construction, you don’t really know where you’ll be going until the last minute."
Unit Type: 1 Bed, 1 Bath | Levels: 11-23
Concrete Superintendent: Managed concrete schedule and coordination.
"I went to school for half a year, but it was not for me. I started out doing construction in high school. I went to community college, but I wanted to get into back into construction. I have been doing this for 28 years.
Favorite part - Seeing the progress every week. We gained a floor every week. Wind, rain, snow, everything - it doesn’t really slow you down, just makes it a little tougher. Especially when you get 5 to 6 stories high, you start seeing it when you are pulling into town. Every day is fun. It’s something different, and there’s only about 10% that I don’t enjoy about it. I do all the cooking for our safety parties, so we did a couple hog-roasts. I roasted 3 pigs, a quarter beef one week, did a spaghetti feed. I got a bar and restaurant up north of St. Cloud. One of these gigs is part time, not sure which."