minneapolis riverfront district · 2019. 12. 11. · + visit the restored ard godfrey house, the...
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Endless reasons to visit the Minneapolis Riverfront District
Help Minneapolis celebrate its birth and other significant anniversaries
Learn about the role Minneapolis played in the creation of the State of Minnesota 150 years ago and many other riverfront “firsts” that have impacted the world.
Did you know?The first permanent bridge ever built across the -Mississippi River (shown above) opened in 1855 at what is now Hennepin Avenue, a popular crossing point for American Indians for hundreds of years.The first man-made dam across the Mississippi was -completed in Minneapolis in 1858 to divert water into millponds on each side of the river.The first central hydroelectric plant in the nation was -built in Minneapolis in 1882.The first and only stone arch bridge ever built across -the Mississippi was built in 1883 in Minneapolis.Minnesota’s first presidential nominating convention -was held in the Industrial Exposition Building in Minneapolis in 1892.Minneapolis’ flour milling -industry brought about many marketing firsts, including the first radio cooking show (Betty Crocker, starting in 1924) and the first radio jingle song in 1926 (“Have You Tried Wheaties?”).
To learn more about the birthplace of Minneapolis, visit www.stanthonyfalls.org.To learn more about Minneapolis’ 150th anniversary, visit www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/150.
History Track the founding and growth of Minneapolis and its glory days +as the flour milling capital of the world while visiting the Mill City Museum, Mill Ruins Park, First Bridge Park, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam visitor center, Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, Whitney Plaza, Milwaukee Depot and Water Power Park.Explore the beautiful St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail +on a self-guided walking tour.Visit the restored Ard Godfrey house, +the oldest home in Minneapolis.Experience the power of St. Anthony Falls from the + magnificent Stone Arch Bridge. Minneapolis grew up around the power of the falls.
Culture and entertainmentTake in performances at two Tony Award-winning Minneapolis +theaters — the Guthrie and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. See cutting-edge art at the Soap Factory. +Revel in the literary arts at the Open Book. +Enjoy a movie, live music or some comedy. +
Food and shoppingSavor the cuisine at an outstanding restaurant. +Sip a cocktail on an outdoor patio. +E + xplore the fascinating shops in Northeast and the North Loop.
Parks and recreationWalk, bike or blade miles of trails. +Find out why this special area is a national park and +earn your Junior Ranger badge.Take in the sights on the Minneapolis Queen excursion boat, a +Twin Cities Trolley ride or a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride.Explore the district on a Segway tour. +Ice skate at the historic Depot Ice Rink. +Relax and admire scenic views of the river, the downtown +skyline and the historic district from the Riverfront parks.Celebrate with one of the many festivals, events +or fireworks displays.
InformationFor things to do in the Minneapolis Riverfront District, +visit www.minneapolisriverfrontdistrict.com.Information hotline: (612) 673-5123 +
Visit Minneapolis’ birthplace on the Mississippi River
Walking tour map inside
First bridge to cross the Mississippi River, at what is now Hennepin Avenue, shown in 1868
Nicollet Island & the River
Nicollet Island & the RiverNicollet Island first served as a stepping stone for crossing the river. Today, it is a charming neighborhood of rehabilitated historic homes and historic industrial buildings that have been preserved for new uses. The island is a treasury of residential architectural styles that were popular in the late 19th century.
The magnificent 1 Stone Arch Bridge is the first and only stone arch bridge to cross the Mississippi River. It was an engineering achievement when completed as a railroad bridge in 1883 (another 125th anniversary!). For more information about the Stone Arch Bridge and the many other fascinating bridges across the Mississippi in Minneapolis, visit www.mrdbridges.com.
The waterfall now known as St. Anthony Falls held spiritual power for American Indians who lived in this area for millen-nia. It was the hydropower potential of those falls that attracted white settlers to this point on the Mississippi River in the mid-19th century. Learn how water can create power and the riverfront’s long role in supplying hydropower at Water Power Park, 2 where you can get a close-up view of the falls.
The 3 horseshoe dam you can see in the river today is the successor to the rock-filled, timber-crib dam that was completed in 1858. This cooperative effort of the milling companies on both sides of the river was the first man-made dam across the Mississippi. It channeled the water into millponds on each side of the river.
The East SideA commercial area for the early com-munity, the Northeast and Southeast areas once again bustle with shops, restaurants and galleries. The historic 1 Ard Godfrey House (1849) is
the oldest frame house remaining in the city and was the location for many meet-ings that helped shape the new com-munity of St. An-thony. The house is open for tours on weekends from May 31 to Aug. 31. 2 Our Lady of Lourdes
Church, built in 1857, is the oldest continuously operating church in Min-
neapolis and this year will celebrate a major renovation.
The long-gone but impressive 3 Industrial Exposition
Building (1886-1930s) was the site of Minnesota’s first presi-dential nominating convention, the 1892 Republican Conven-tion (the only presi-dential convention held in the state until 2008).
In the city’s early years, historic 4 Main Street was
part of the Red River oxcart trail that brought trade goods from northern Minnesota to the boat landings in Saint Paul in exchange for manufactured goods. The restaurants in Riverplace and St. Anthony Main occupy historic rehabilitated commercial and industrial buildings. The handsome 5 Martin-Morrison Blocks
(1858) date from the city’s early years, as does the 1855 Upton
Block – the oldest surviving brick structure in Minneapolis.
The power of St. Anthony Falls first was harnessed for
sawmilling, and for many years Min-neapolis was the lumber milling capital of the nation. Flour mills later supplanted
the sawmills, and the Minneapolis riverfront
grew into the largest direct-drive waterpower operation the world has ever seen.
This flour milling was the world’s first industrial-scale food processing and made Minneapolis the flour milling capital of the world from 1880 to 1930.
The limestone 6 Pillsbury A Mill is one
of two National Historic Landmarks on the
Our Lady of Lourdes, 2007
Stone Arch Bridge, 1900
Oxcarts on Main Street, 1854Minnesota Historical Society
Minneapolis riverfront, recognized for its significance as the birthplace of the Pillsbury Company and the largest flour mill in the world when it was built in 1881. It was also the first mill in the world to install electric lights. 7 The Soap Factory, an art gallery specializing in cutting-edge visual arts, is housed in the historic National Purity Soap Factory building and is one of the many riverfront organizations celebrating an important anniversary this year.
8 Father Hennepin Bluffs Park is one of many riverfront park areas owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. It is believed to be where Father Louis Hennepin became the first white man to see the falls while traveling with the Dakota in 1680. Today the park’s band shell features summer music. The lower portion of the park offers a view of the only remaining segment of the waterfall ledge that has not been covered by a concrete apron. The Park Board, many of whose original founders were riverfront businessmen, also celebrates an important anniversary in 2008 (Congratulations on 125 years!).
Nicollet Island & the River
Base map © Hedberg Maps, Inc.
If you’d like to learn more about the birth
of the City of Minneapolis at St. Anthony Falls
on the Mississippi River, visit www.stanthonyfalls.org.
The West SideExplore the North Loop’s wide variety of shops, restaurants and galleries. The Theatre de la Jeune Lune offers a year-round season of plays known for their visual uniqueness.
The first permanent span across the Mississippi River opened in Minneapolis in 1855. A wooden suspension bridge crossing from Nicollet Island to the downtown side of the river supplemented an earlier bridge from Main Street to the island to complete the full span. Today you can visit 1 First Bridge Park (under the current Hennepin Avenue Bridge) to see the foundations of the first two suspension bridges and learn more about these crossings that made Min-neapolis a gateway to the west. The area that grew up around this important first bridge became known as Bridge Square and was the location of the 2 first town council meeting in 1858. In the 3 Federal Reserve Bank
Plaza, five bronze models illustrate how the Bridge Square area has evolved from pre-settlement days to today.
ic Milwaukee Depot complex has hotels, a water park, historical displays and a winter indoor skating rink. The MacPhail Center for Music offers classes and performances. The renowned Guthrie Theater’s founding 45 years ago was the birth of the regional theater movement, and its architecturally stunning three-theater complex (including the views from its “endless bridge”) is open to both ticket-holders and the general public. 6 Open Book is the first facility in
the nation devoted to the literary arts and offers classes and special events at the Loft Literary Center and Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
The dramatic Mill City Museum was built within the fire-damaged walls of the 1880 7 Washburn Crosby “A” Mill,
which is the birthplace of General Mills and one of two National Historic Land-marks on the Riverfront. The museum offers year-round adventures, including performances by costumed History Players. General Mills was an innovator in both milling technology and marketing. At Mill Ruins Park, you can still see – and learn more about – some of the founda-tions remaining from the row of mills that once stood between the plank-covered west side 8 waterpower canal (built in 1857) and the river.
The nation’s first 5 central hy-droelectric station was built in Minneapolis in 1882. In 1883, the instal-lation of a 257-foot-high electric light mast in Bridge Square demonstrated the value of lighting city streets with this new technology.
The Mill District is a growing neighbor-hood with delights for visitors. The histor-
The first white settler’s house built on the Minneapolis side of the river was the 4 John H. Stevens House,
built by ferry operator Stevens in 1849 near Hennepin Avenue. Today the house resides in Minnehaha Park and you can visit it on summer weekends and holidays to learn about the important role the house and the Stevens family played in the birth of the community. Wheaties Quartet ,1926
Base of the Bridge Square Light Mast,1883
Tepees around Stevens House, 1854
The Minneapolis Riverfront District is the birthplace of Minneapolis and a powerful place of many firsts that affected the state, nation and world. Tour the district to learn more about these significant births and
firsts and see some of the sites that tell these stories. The heart of the tour is the 1.8-mile St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail, which guides you through the heart of the city’s birthplace with markers explaining how Minneapolis was born and grew around the waterpower of St. Anthony Falls.
How is a city born?The birth of Minneapolis cannot be traced to any single event. American Indians have inhabited the area long before Europeans arrived. White settlement around St. Anthony Falls began on the east side of the river with the founding of St. Anthony in 1849. The west side was not opened to settlement by the federal government until a few years later. The name “Minneapolis” was chosen in 1852, and the community of Minneapolis was incorporated as a town in 1856. The Minneapolis town government was formally organized on July 20, 1858, 150 years ago. In 1872, the communities that shared St. Anthony Falls merged into a combined city under the Minneapolis name.
The Minneapolis Riverfront
Birth Place & First Place
For more events, check out the Web sites shown,
visit www.livetheriver.org or call the
Minneapolis Riverfront District Hotline at (612) 673-5123.
The Soap Factory History RoomApril 19 to October 4The Soap Factory, 518 Second Street SEwww.soapfactory.org (612) 623-9176
2008 marks the 20th anniversary of No Name Exhibitions and The Soap Factory. Throughout the year Andy Sturdevant will curate a history room for the building with artists who have exhibited at their facilities over the past 20 years. FREE.
Big Top Chautauqua presents
“Old Minnesota: Song of the North Star” the statehood sesquicentennial musical
Saturday, May 10, 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 11, 7 p.m.Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Avenuewww.hennepintheatredistrict.com (612) 673-0404 www.ticketmaster.comTravel back down the river of time with Warren Nelson and the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. From the native people to the early European immigrants, from the falls of St. Anthony to the waters of Duluth, celebrate with us as Minneapolis and Minnesota turn 150. Original music and hundreds of large-screen historic images will entertain all ages. Come one and come all to the birthday party of the century! Tickets $26, $20 and $16.
Historic Main Street Walking ToursVarious dates and times, June to SeptemberMeet at Pracna Restaurant, 111 Main Street SEwww.millcitymuseum.org (612) 341-7555
Tour Minneapolis’ oldest neighborhood with a Mill City Museum guide, who will describe life in the town of St. Anthony 150 years ago. Tickets $12, $10 and $8.
Sesquicentennial Stamp Dedication CeremonySaturday, June 14, 11:30 a.m.Ard Godfrey House, Chute Square, University and Centralwww.ardgodfreyhouse.org (612) 813-5319
This special Flag Day ceremony gives you an opportunity to get a “Second Day” statehood sesquicentennial stamp at the home of the first postmaster of St. Anthony, Ard Godfrey. The house will ) be open for tours until 4 p.m.
Solstice River XII: Bridging the Cycles of Life Saturday, June 21, 8 p.m.Stone Arch Bridgeglobalsiteperformance.org (612) 788-2349
Celebrate the Mississippi River on the longest day of the year. Come to the historic Stone Arch Bridge and watch as it comes alive with colorful dancers. This year’s event acknowledges the life cycles of bridges and people, recognizing the 125th birthday of the Stone Arch Bridge and the tragedy of the I-35W Bridge collapse. We will pay tribute to the 13 individuals who died and their families. The performance begins at 8 p.m. and concludes as the sun sets. This is an excellent family event. Wheelchair accessible. FREE.
House to House and Falls to Falls Bike TourSaturday, June 28, 11 a.m.Meet at the Ard Godfrey House located in Chute Squarewww.minneapolisparks.org (612) 313-7793
Visit the historic 1848 Ard Godfrey House on the east bank and then bike south along the Mississippi River to visit the first home built on the west bank, the 1849 John Stevens House, now located in Minnehaha Park. Both homes played important roles in the early history of St. Anthony and Minneapolis. Bring or buy lunch at Minnehaha Falls. Cost $10. Reservations required.
Happy Birthday! CelebrationSaturday, July 19, 10 a.m. Mill City Farmers Market, Chicago Avenue Mall at Second Street Southwww.millcityfarmersmarket.org (612) 341-7580
In the birthplace of the Minneapolis milling industry another first was born: the first farmers market in the Twin Cities to focus on local, organic and sustainable foods. Come celebrate the intersection of the city’s past and the future of local food in the heart of the Mill District. Visit the market for breakfast and groceries, take in the birthday-themed cooking demo, then tour the Mill City Museum for a taste of the past!
River QuestSaturday, July 26, 10 a.m.www.minneapolisparks.org (612) 313-7793
Explore the birthplace of Minneapolis and help create a river-focused treasure map. Pick a theme, determine a route and create clues to lead your friends and family on a journey to reveal the gems of the riverfront. For adults or families with children ages 9 and up. Reservations required.
Little House on the Prairie –World Premier MusicalJuly 26 to October 5Guthrie Theater, 818 Second Street Southwww.guthrietheater.org (612) 377-2224
The Guthrie Theater, started in 1963 by Sir Tyrone Guthrie as the birthplace of the regional theater movement, continues its tradition as a birthplace/first place with its debut of the new musical Little House on the Prairie. Check the Guthrie Web site for ticket prices and performance dates.
Target Aquatennial FireworksSaturday, July 26, 10 p.m.www.aquatennial.com www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/150
Fireworks have been a riverfront tradition since July 4, 1856. Watch the skies over the riverfront come alive with the Aquatennial’s spectacular annual Target Fireworks Show, which this year will celebrate the 150th birthday of the City of Minneapolis!
Founders’ FestMonday, September 1, noon to 4 p.m.John Stevens House, Minnehaha Park, 4801 Minnehaha Ave.www.johnhstevenshouse.org (612) 722-2220
The Stevens House will celebrate the founding of Minneapolis with live music by Amador Hill, vintage games and toys, storytelling, a vintage general store and more! Expect a visit from Gideon Pond, early missionary to the Dakota Indians, who will be greeted by John H. Stevens himself (as re-enacted by Jay Ludwid and Rick Hagen). Admission is FREE. Refreshments available for purchase.
twww.livetheriver.org www.soapfactory.orgwww.ticketmaster.comwww.millcitymuseum.org www.ardgodfreyhouse.org globalsiteperformance.org www.minneapolisparks.orgwww.millcityfarmersmarket.orgwww.minneapolisparks.orgwww.guthrietheater.orgwww.aquatennial.comwww.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/150www.johnhstevenshouse.org