Long-time southern Minn. architect with Austin connection retiring

Published 8:16 am Friday, January 11, 2019


After 44 years of practice, architect David Kane, who had a hand in some of Minnesota’s most recognizable buildings, is retiring from a long and successful architectural career.

Kane is noted for his design of buildings such as Olmsted National Bank and the Widseth Smith Nolting office building (formerly Home Design Studio), both on West Circle Drive in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Steele County History Center in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Kane began his career under the tutelage of his father, Warren Kane, who practiced architecture in Austin. Warren Kane’s design of the Norwest Bank (now Wells Fargo Bank) on North Main Street in Austin is one of the area’s earliest uses of weathered steel, which forms the dramatic cantilevered high roof at the main entry façade.

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Kane joined his father’s practice after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science in architecture and environmental design in 1974. Within less than a year, he found himself at the head of the firm upon his father’s untimely death. He carried on his father’s legacy by providing rural Minnesota with planning and design that was personal and functional, yet reflected a high-quality aesthetic.

He oversaw the growth of the firm under the banners of David Kane Planning and Design, Kane and Cox Architects, and, finally, Kane and Johnson Architects (KJA). The practice expanded to Rochester through the 1988 acquisition of Pieper Richmond Architects as well as into Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Kansas City, Kansas. In 1990, Kane moved from Austin to Rochester and later sold the Austin practice to his business partner.

Throughout his career, Kane’s passion has been helping churches accommodate growth and changes in mission. He has designed more than 250 church projects from small renovations, to medium sized additions, to large new buildings. He has designed prominent government, commercial, casino, hospitality, and educational facilities helping clients bring their visions to life.

WSN’s Rochester office is hosting an open house in celebration of Kane’s career from 4-7 p.m. on Jan. 15. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Sarah Mattson at Sarah.Mattson@wsn.