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Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.


The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts Art Exhibit Announces New Exhibit; Opening Reception Set for October 27

Opening Reception 
Sunday, October 27  5:00 - 7:00PM
Stonebridge Lofts, 1120 South 2nd Street

The new show runs from October 27 – February 5, 2020

Join us at The Mill Yard opening reception for an Autumn-inspired cocktail, wine, beverages, snacks and beautiful art.  Local chef Jessi Peine’s popular food truck, Peeps Hot Box, will be out front selling world street foods inspired by seasonal ingredients.

The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts

The Mill City. Residents celebrate our area’s industrial heritage of the mighty Mississippi River and the mills. Today, what we see are the most recognizable Minneapolis landmarks. However, this is only part of the story. Rail lines were key to Minneapolis’ growth, and were particularly integral to the Mill District, bringing in wheat and timber and shipping out flour and lumber. We also honor the history of the mills, the reason for the rail yard’s existence. The Mill Yard aims to be both a gathering place for art and artists and a conduit by which art can be shared with and disseminated into the wider community. Contact us at:

Artists featured at the Autumn show:

Mary Meuwissen

Inspired by ordinary experiences; recurring shapes such as houses, multiple dwellings, stairways or ladders often appear in Mary’s finished paintings. These shapes and marks evoke thoughts of safety, comfort and a feeling of being grounded. She uses a color palette of bold, unexpected colors to define a sense of energy, joy and surprise. Each finished abstract painting is a culmination of ideas which are defined by marks and playful discovery. Mary believes that each painting tells a story and her goal is that the viewer may find their own story while they look and delve into the nuances of each painting.

Networking in the Middle of Orange

Greg Preslicka

Greg is primarily a plein air painter, which is painting in the field directly from life. His main career has been the commercial side of art, specifically Design & Illustration. He has also spent the last 10 years painting murals in schools, libraries and other public spaces. For Greg, plein air and studio painting offers a much needed break from the client driven work he is often doing for his job. He paints for the love of putting brush to canvas and the challenge of capturing a moment in time. He primarily paints landscapes because he enjoys getting lost in the solitude of nature while painting a scene.

Lower Falls TETT

Susan Wagner

Susan has roots in Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, she moved to NYC for 13 years where she had a successful career in film while studying painting at various ateliers. After returning to Minneapolis, she joined the artist community of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District where she maintains a studio in the Casket Arts Building. Traveling and hiking is essential to Ms. Wagner’s work, taking pictures and making sketches to take back to the studio. Landscapes and structures hold stories – the countryside, rivers and bodies of water, ancient architecture – geometric forms and nature are her guideposts.


Peter Wong

After four decades as a professional commercial photographer, Peter has in recent years entered the worlds of fine-art and travel photography, working as shooter, teacher and guide. Melding these genres gives Peter the opportunity not only to capture new experiences but also to share his knowledge and advance the skills of other enthusiasts. The results go far beyond travel postcards with images that show real connections with the places visited, and a deep understanding of the hearts of other people.



New 100 Restrooms Project Aims To Add Free Restroom Options Throughout Downtown Minneapolis

Via an October 17 News Release:

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis launched a new program today improving access to restrooms available for public use throughout downtown.

The initiative, named the 100 Restrooms Project, will implement wayfinding signage pointing the public toward the closest available restroom, new portable restrooms in locations where there are gaps in restroom availability, and an opt-in program for private businesses to offer public use of their private facilities.

Businesses interested in learning more about the opt-in program can visit or contact

“We know both from conversations with residents, workers and visitors as well as data from our annual Mpls DID Perception Survey that access to high-quality restrooms downtown is a universal concern,” said Steve Cramer, President & CEO of the Mpls Downtown Improvement District. “This initiative will raise awareness that we’re not starting at Square 1 and will provide wayfinding for the public to more effectively find currently available restroom options while also opening up the conversation for the private business community to join in this effort.”

Wayfinding signage will be visible along main corridors of downtown, including 1st Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, Nicollet, 5th Street and 7th Street. These sidewalk signs will point toward the nearest restrooms and estimated walking time to those locations. Examples of the sidewalk wayfinding signage can be found at the intersections of 7th Street and Nicollet and 9th Street and Hennepin Avenue.

Most public restrooms downtown are in public buildings. These are supplemented by new portable restrooms now accessible at three downtown locations: 9th Street S and Hawthorne Avenue, 7th Street S. and 2nd Avenue N., and 10th Street and 4th Avenue S. These are in addition to the custom three-season restroom that was installed at Peavey Plaza this summer as well as the facilities located at The Commons.

A total of 29 public restrooms downtown are currently open during varying hours. Through this program, the goal is to reach 100 locations through partnerships with additional buildings and businesses, and to work toward established best practices in staffing and maintaining these facilities throughout downtown.

“The 100 Restrooms Project is really about our community meeting our own basic human needs,” said John Sweeney, Owner of the Brave New Workshop. “The portable restroom on our block and signage on surrounding blocks letting people know it’s there are small investments, but they’re a big step towards making the public realm in our neighborhood clean and welcoming.”

Each year, the DID’s Perception Survey collects data to help inform real and perceived greening, cleaning and safety aspects of downtown. Public urination has been part of the top cleanliness concerns on five of the past six surveys collected.

The Mpls DID launched a pilot project called Little Free Lavatory in 2015 to test a free, portable restroom open to the public. That restroom stood along the south edge of Peavey Plaza, where the current three-season public restroom currently sits.

In June 2019, the DID in partnership with the City of Minneapolis engaged a team of Humphrey Fellows from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs to provide an assessment and case study of other cities’ public restroom strategies to inform the 100 Restrooms Project. The study looked at Denver, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and London, England.

For more information, visit or log onto FacebookTwitter or Instagram and follow @MplsDID.

About the Mpls Downtown Improvement District:

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) is a business funded non-profit focused on creating a more vibrant downtown. DID leads and collaborates on programs that make downtown safer, cleaner and greener. We convene people across sectors and jurisdictions to work on issues of mutual interest; develop innovative solutions to complex public space challenges/opportunities including strategic activation and seek continuous improvement of ongoing programs including the ambassadors. For more information, visit


North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

* North Loop Reconstruction Updates *


5th Ave N

  • Finish raising MH castings in preparation for placing the final lift of asphalt this week
  • Asphalt paving this week starting today (10-16)

7th Ave N

  • Finish raising MH castings in preparation for placing the final lift of asphalt this week
  • Asphalt paving this week starting today (10-16)

8th Ave N

  • Finished installing salvaged pavers
  • Placed concrete intersection at 3rd St N and 8th Ave N

9th Ave N

  • Finished installing salvaged pavers
  • Placed concrete intersection at 3rd St N and 9th Ave N

3rd St N

  • Driveways 85% complete
  • All parking bays have been installed
  • Asphalt paving this week starting today (10-16)
  • Asphalt paving will include work at the intersection of 10th Ave N and 3rd St N


5th Ave N

  • Placing final lift of asphalt this week (likely Thursday or Friday)
  • Dig tree pits

7th Ave N

  • Placing final lift of asphalt this week (likely Thursday or Friday)
  • Dig tree pits

8th Ave N

  • Dig tree pits

9th Ave N

  • Dig tree pits

3rd St N

  • Finish sidewalk installation on both sides
  • Finish driveway installation
  • Tentatively planning on paving from 5th to 10th Aves N (likely today 10-16)
  • Start raising MH in preparation for brick pavers ( 7th to 10th Aves N)
  • Start raising MH in preparation for final lift of asphalt ( 7th to 5th Aves N)
  • Start installing salvaged pavers between 10th and 7th Aves N on Thursday or Friday (10-17/10-18)

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

 * North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates *


 1st St N

  • 4th Ave N NW corner -Continued storm sewer work
  • 4th Ave SE corner - Completed

 2nd St N

  • 3rd Ave N SW corner – Finished storm, installed curb, installed new signal foundation
  • 10th Ave N – Removed signals and replaced with a 3-way stop, began storm sewer work, began electrical work for new signal


The concrete crews will be following the sewer crews work over the next week includes:

 1st St N

  • 4th Ave SE and NW corner- Finish NW corner, start storm work on SE corner

 2nd St N

  • 1st Ave N – Currently there are issues getting into any of these corners, do to existing construction.
  • 3rd Ave N – SW corner – Pour new foundation, finish sidewalk, install new signal
  • 8th Ave N South side and NE Corner – Finish concrete work, finish wiring for crossing, install crosswalk flasher
  • 10th Ave N SE and SW corners – Continue with storm sewer and electrical work

4th St N

  • 10th Ave N – Start removals at the end of next week


  • All signal installation will start mid-October
  • Remaining concrete work will continue through October

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Contact Information

Contact Stephanie Malmberg (612-673-3365) or John Benjamin (651-443-1096) with any construction related questions or concerns.


FINNOVATION Lab Grows Community with Two National Partnerships

Via an October 11 News Release:

FINNOVATION Lab, the social business catalyst that helps local entrepreneurs launch and scale their mission-driven ventures, announced today two national partnerships: SKU an accelerator program that educates and equips market-validated consumer products companies for growth into world-class brands, and SEED Spot, a globally-ranked social impact incubator that supports impact-driven entrepreneurs.

“We’re putting great emphasis on expanding our reach and impact, and are now working with two organizations to offer enhanced programming for social entrepreneurs at a range of stages,” said Connie Rutledge, CEO of FINNOVATION Lab. “By growing our community of like-minded entrepreneurs, we’ll continue to establish Minnesota as a leader of social innovation.”

The two new national partners will build on FINNOVATION Lab’s leadership in social impact. Now with three distinct programming options – Impact SKU, SEED Spot, and the FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship Program – FINNOVATION Lab will work with entrepreneurs at all levels of development, from start-up ideation through scalable growth.

Impact SKU — Accelerator for start-ups with market validation and poised for national growth

SKU is an Austin-based accelerator program with a curated 12-week curriculum focused on consumer-packaged goods, and a strong network of mentors that include industry experts, serial entrepreneurs, and investors. SKU alumni include nationally known brands like EPIC Bar and Siete Foods. The FINNOVATION Lab has teamed up with the Stable and 301inc, two local leaders in the CPG ecosystem, to bring a new purpose-driven arm of SKU – known as Impact SKU – to Minneapolis. The first Impact SKU cohort is slated for Summer 2020, with details to come in early 2020.

“SKU has been looking to expand into the social impact space for some time, specifically the Twin Cities given the area’s dedication to mission-driven businesses,” said Kirstin Ross, Managing Director of SKU. “FINNOVATION Lab has been on our radar since the launch of the Fellowship Program in 2018. The group has helped to solidify Minneapolis as a major player in the space and we’re excited to work together to foster lasting impact nationally.”  

SEED Spot — 48 hours to explore and launch an idea

SEED Spot supports impact-driven entrepreneurs in the formative stages of launching their ventures. The first Minneapolis 2-day Launch Camp is November 15 & 16 in the FINNOVATION Lab space, helping aspiring entrepreneurs explore the viability of their idea. Details can be found at here.

FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship Program — Intensive training for early stage social entrepreneurs

The FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship Program is a nine-month incubator and leadership development program for early-stage social entrepreneurs building mission-driven enterprises. The first cohort wrapped programming in summer 2019 and the group just welcomed an expanded cohort of nine new fellows for its second year.

For more information on FINNOVATION Lab and how they support start-up entrepreneurs, visit


Fillmore Minneapolis Announces Three Nights of Brandi Carlile to Kick Off Venue Opening

Via an October 15 News Release:


Brandi Carlile Opens New Venue With Three Mid-February Dates With Shows to Follow From Motion City Soundtrack, Rüfüs Du Sol,  The Revivalists, The Disco Biscuits, LANCO and Evanescence 

The Fillmore Minneapolis announced its opening lineup of performers and concert dates today. The venue, currently under construction at 525 N. 5th Street in Minneapolis’s North Loop, will open Feb. 12, 2020, with a performance by Brandi Carlile, the first of three scheduled performances by the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter.

The opening lineup includes: 

2/12/20: Brandi Carlile – Grand Opening Show – Trio is performing
2/13/20: Brandi Carlile – Grand Opening Show – Full band
2/14/20: Brandi Carlile – Grand Opening Show – Full band performing XOBC
2/15-16/20: Motion City Soundtrack 
2/17/20: Ty Dolla $ign
2/21/20: Yung Gravy 
2/22/20: $uicideboy
2/27/20: Buddy Guy
2/28/20: Rüfüs Du Sol 
3/3/20: Hayley Kiyoko 
3/4/20: Sublime with Rome, w/Jon Wayne and The Pain
3/7/20: Three 6 Mafia
3/12/20: LANCO
3/13/20: The Revivalists
3/20/20: The Floozies w/ SunSquabi 
3/21/20: Dillon Francis
3/27/20: Yultron Presents “RAVE PROM” with special guests
3/28/20: Hippie Sabotage 
4/10-11/20: The Disco Biscuits 
4/17/20: Jonny Lang 
4/29/20: Citizen Cope
5/14/20: Evanescence

The new 36,000-square-foot venue features two floors and an 1,850-person capacity. Box seats and premium tickets are on the venue’s mezzanine level alongside upscale food and beverage offerings and dedicated hospitality.  Throughout The Fillmore, concertgoers have myriad choices for dining, ranging from food and drinks on both levels, to enjoying craft beer, inventive cocktails and decadent shakes at the brand-new restaurant Trax Burgers and Bar, which opens next door in early February.

“We’re proud to announce an exciting and diverse list of artists for our opening lineup to the music-loving community of Minneapolis,” said Tamsen Preston, senior promoter. “The attention and time we’ve taken to invest in building something special and unique will all be worth it when fans experience their favorite artists inside this amazing new venue. The sound system we are putting in and the sight lines are really just incredible.”

The Fillmore Minneapolis expects to produce 175 annual concerts and events and is operated by Live Nation, a longtime promoter in the Twin Cities. Live Nation currently operates Varsity Theater in Dinkytown and has produced shows at Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium, Xcel Energy Center, Target Center, The Armory and The Hennepin Theaters.  

Fans can follow @FillmoreMPLS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to experience and engage with The Fillmore Minneapolis on social media. For more information on shows and other details about the new venue, visit

Citi is the official presale credit card of The Fillmore Minneapolis. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Tuesday, October 15, at noon until Thursday, October 17, at 10 p.m. local time through Citi EntertainmentSM. For complete presale details, visit

Live Nation and select artist presales will begin Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m. CDT and run through Thursday, Oct. 17, at 10 p.m. CDT. 

Tickets for all shows go on sale to the general public Friday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. CDT via,, and in person at the Varsity Theater Box Office, 1308 SE 4th St, Minneapolis.

About Live Nation Clubs & Theaters

A division of Live Nation Concerts, the world’s leading live concert company, Live Nation Clubs & Theaters promotes over 25,000 shows in 1,700 venues with more than 20 million fans in attendance annually. As the world’s premier network of intimate live music venues, Live Nation Clubs & Theaters oversees legendary spaces including The Fillmore theaters, House of Blues clubs, the Academy Music Group portfolio and more. For additional information, visit


October 18 Art Opening at the Bridgewater Lofts

Luke Kleckner and Bridgewater Neighbors and Friends of the Arts

invite you to the next art opening at the Bridgewater:

Inclusive Space
Friday, October 18, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bridgewater Lobby, 215 10th Avenue S
Art, Wine and Appetizers*
All Bridgewater residents and Mill District residents are welcome.
Please RSVP to
This free event is generously sponsored by Luke Kleckner, relationship-based Realtor, experienced and authentic insider, #1 seller of new condos.
“After living and working in the Mill District for almost 20 years, I have extensive inside knowledge of the market. You can trust me to help you or those you know.”
*Appetizers are provided by Smith & Porter, an independent neighborhood restaurant in the Mill District, with a variety of menu offerings and a full-service bar.


An Evening with the Steeles and Taste of the Mill District - this Thursday, October 17, at the Mill City Museum

Article by Claudia Kittock

An Evening with the Steeles is this Thursday, October 17th at the Mill City Museum. The evening will begin with Taste of the Mill District from 6-7 pm with a cash bar.  There will be appetizers donated by restaurants in our community, including Smith and Porter, Keefer Court, Afro Deli, Trader Joe's, Open Book, Umbra, Bacon Social House, Wasabi Fusion, Crooked Pint and Pog Mahones. We are so thankful for the generosity of our neighbors!

The singing will begin at 7:00 and you won't want to miss one moment. This magical group promises an evening of amazing music, and to send you home full of hope and joy. You won't want to miss the only performance by the Steele Family in the Mill District this year.

100% of the proceeds will go to fund the Mill City Singers. The Singers are open to all and free of charge.  Rehearsals are held in the Guthrie Theater on Saturdays from 2:00-3:30 pm, with the Guthrie donating the rehearsal space. We are so blessed by our community!

I hope to see you all there. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and at the door on the 17th.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).

MSP Film Society Announces the Complete Line-up and Special Guests for 7th Annual Cine Latino Film Festival

The MSP Film Society announces the complete line-up and special guests for the 7th Annual Cine Latino Film Festival. Held November 1-7 at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, Cine Latino features a tapestry of award-winning narrative and documentary films from across the globe from some of the world’s most acclaimed and up-andcoming Spanish- and Portuguese-language filmmakers.

As the region’s only showcase of Latin American and Ibero cinema, MSP Film Society developed Cine Latino in response to demand from both global cinephiles and the growing Spanish-speaking populations in Minnesota, curating the annual series of films from countries with rich filmmaking histories and cutting-edge film industries.

“The Latin American and Ibero cinematic traditions have long explored the rich and contentious histories of their various nations, shedding light onto complex political legacies while reflecting the regions’ intoxicating mix of cultures,” said Hebe Tabachnik, Artistic Director of Cine Latino. “Today, a new generation of insightful and uncompromised storytellers are diving headlong into their respective nations’ histories and the pressing realities of our current moment.”

“We are immensely grateful to the individuals and community organizations collaborating with us to present this year’s Cine Latino,” said MSP Film Society’s Executive Director Susan Smoluchowski. “We see these growing partnerships, including many representatives of the diverse Spanish-speaking communities here in MN and abroad, as a testament to the cultural importance of this unique annual celebration of Latin American and Iberian cinema:”

Opening Night of Cine Latino on November 1 will feature films from Spain (The Prado Museum: A Collection of Wonders), Mexico (Lives with Flavor), and Colombia (Litigante), with special guests including the Mexican director of Lives with Flavor, Ruth Zachs Babani, a delegation from Minneapolis’s sister city Cuernavaca, Mexico and diplomatic guests from Mexico, Spain and Colombia.

Closing Night of Cine Latino on November 7 will feature Children of Maria and Marighella, the debut feature by director Wagner Moura (Narcos, Elite Squad), which has been battling political and bureaucratic hurdles and has yet to be released in its home country of Brazil.

All films screening in the 2019 Cine Latino Film Festival are Minnesota Premieres! The complete line-up and screening times for Cine Latino is available at

All-Access Passes, 3-Packs, and 6-Packs are now on sale at Single tickets go on sale to the general public on October 14.

Cine Latino is presented by the MSP Film Society, Minnesota’s leading non-profit exhibitor of international independent cinema. Our mission is to foster a knowledgeable and vibrant appreciation of the art of film from around the globe and its power to inform and transform individuals and communities.


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Our weekly digest of stories about Downtown Minneapolis and the Central Riverfront neighborhoods:


Why do so many Fortune 500 companies call Minnesota home?
As of last count, Minnesota had 17 on Fortune’s ranking of 500 largest companies. And all but one is located in the Twin Cities, just the 16th largest metro area in the country.

How Did The Saloon Get the Baby Trump Balloon?
Before President Trump's rally, protest organizers crowdfunded not one, but two Baby Trump balloons to be stationed in downtown Minneapolis.

What a Trump rally in downtown Minneapolis looks like
MAGA enthusiasts were met by protestors as they packed downtown Minneapolis' Target Center on Thursday, Oct. 10, for a rally to reelect President Donald Trump.

New round of bids for Metro Transit bus garage in Minneapolis will be solicited
The action means the opening of the long-planned garage in the North Loop will be delayed four to six months, according to Met Council spokesman John Schadl.

Meet the Art Girls Curating Local Art for Your Home
Kelly Netishen and Hollie Blanchard are bringing their "fine art concierge" service to your front door.

Michael Druskin Returns to Retail With Jaxon Grey
Michael Druskin makes a new mark in the North Loop with menswear concept Jaxon Grey.

Love Your Melon Teams Up with Disney
The two-year collaboration will include headwear featuring Disney, Pixar and Star Wars characters.

'Avocado bar' destined for the new Dayton's project on Nicollet Mall
The people at Dayton’s didn’t mean for us to find out like this… but here we are.

Snack Bar, a small plates and pizza restaurant from Isaac Becker, quietly opens in the North Loop
It's the fourth member of the family of restaurants operated by spouses Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre, which includes 112 Eatery, Burch Restaurant and Bar La Grassa.

The 38 Essential Twin Cities Restaurants, Fall 2019
The Eater 38 answers the often-asked question, “Can you recommend a restaurant?”

The Most Exciting Food Events for October, 2019
Way more than just Oktoberfest is happening this month.

Visit the In the News Archive...


The Week Ahead in Mill City

Each week we provide an easy to reference list of events and activities for the week ahead in the Historic Mill District and Minneapolis Riverfront Neighborhoods.  Have an event to share?  Submit your events here...

Monday, October 14

Tuesday, October 15

Wednesday, October 16

Thursday, October 17

Friday, October 18

Saturday, October 19

Sunday, October 20


River Hub: News from the Minneapolis Riverfront

Our weekly digest of news relating to the Minneapolis Riverfront, in collaboration with The Great River Coalition:


Former County Commissioner, Mark Andrew, Joins Initiative to Transform Lock and Dam into World-Class Visitors and Interpretative Center
In this newly created position, Andrew will forge a coalition of support for the riverfront revitalization among key decision makers in government, business and the private sector.

Plan to remake lock and dam, Minneapolis riverfront taking shape
The backers are on the verge of securing more than $5 million to get project off the ground.

The Future of Water: A Panel Discussion
Twin Cities community members will discuss their work caring for Minnesota's rivers, lakes, and lands and share resources and knowledge on ways to sustain a healthy and vibrant community.

Saturday: Lop buckthorn and build wildlife habitat piles in the river gorge
Join FMR staff and volunteers for a morning of working along the beautiful Mississippi river on the Minneapolis side of the river gorge.

New nonprofit formed to champion St. Paul's riverfront
St. Paul and Ramsey County have worked for years to reclaim the city’s 26-mile Mississippi River waterfront, which takes in the site of Minnesota’s largest unpermitted dump and once was overlooked by the county jail, of all things.

River of History: Settlement and Urban Residential Development Along the River, 1841-1950
Town formation in the MNRRA corridor began soon after settlers came to the upper Mississippi valley in the early 1800s. Between 1820 and 1945 dozens of settlements grew up in the MNRRA corridor.

Visit the River Hub Archive...


Charity, Education, and Social Engagement: The Woman's Club of Minneapolis

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

Minneapolis has always been a hotbed for politics. From the rise of the Farmer-Labor Party in the early 1900s to the starting point of presidential campaigns, we are a progressive city. A major player in bringing forward these progressive ideals is the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis and its members who have fought for equal rights for everyone no matter where you come from, what you believe, or how much money you have.

Gratia Countryman, 1917Like most things, the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis started out as an idea in 1907 when two friends, Mrs. Rankin and Mrs. Keyes, approached the Chief Librarian of the Minneapolis Public Library, Ms. Gratia Countryman and discussed the possibility of starting a new women’s organizations. Soon after, twenty-five prominent and influential women were invited to Ms. Countryman’s library office and the Club was born. The early years of the Club were vital to not only the Club’s success, but also the success of women in the area. Many members were involved in the rapidly growing women’s suffrage movement, such as Clara Ueland. When she wasn’t too busy campaigning for women to serve on the Minneapolis Board of Education, she was establishing free kindergartens throughout the city. Clara Ueland would later go on to be president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association when the Nineteenth Amendment passed, which prohibits the state and the federal governments from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.

The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis quickly began working with many areas of the community to better their lives. In 1908, they partnered with the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency to provide access to better health services to those who could not afford it. This partnership also made it possible for the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency to open one of the nation’s first public school nursing programs in St. Paul. The Club also helped those who are visually impaired. Starting in 1914, they brought in Helen Keller two years in a row as a guest speaker, and the event’s popularity was so high that the Club started their Annual VIP Luncheon (Visually Impaired Persons), which continues to this day.

This early success meant that the Club needed to expand in a hurry. In 1927, architect Léon Arnal of the Magney and Tusler firm, who also worked on the Foshay Tower, was hired to design a new headquarters for the Club near Loring Park. In order to aesthetically flow with the surrounding buildings, Arnal designed the new clubhouse in a Second Renaissance Revival style and utilized wrought-iron balconettes, an arched loggia, and wonderful patterned brickwork. The Clubhouse was officially designated a Historic Building by the City of Minneapolis in 1998.

Woman's Club clubhouse, 1930

The theater within the Woman's Club clubhouse.

During the next decades, the Club was involved with many important causes. In 1942, during World War II, members spent over 5,000 hours making 13,715 surgical dressings for the war effort, as well as selling over $60,000 in war bonds, or almost $935,000 after inflation. A feat that deserves more recognition, if you were to ask me. Programs about China, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Philippines were also held for members at the clubhouse in order to get a better understanding of the ever-growing global world.

Another important cause that can still be seen to this day happened in 1975 when President Catherine Lenmark suggested to the board to buy and restore the oldest house in the city, the Ard Godfrey House. 500 people volunteered over 10,000 hours in order to restore the house back to its original 1849 appearance, including tracking down and bringing back many of the home’s original furnishings.

In more recent times, the Club began admitting men into the organization with the first being Herb Bissell on June 22nd, 1990. In honor of the Club’s centennial, they opened a newly constructed Rooftop Terrace in 2006, and during the week of April 22nd - April 28th, Mayor R.T. Ryback declared that week "The Woman's Club of Minneapolis Week" in the city of Minneapolis.

Building upon the growing success of the Club and its important impact on the community, they have been including in National Geographic’s Partners in Preservation, which “is an initiative created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express to engage the public in preserving and increasing awareness of America’s historic places and their role in sustaining local communities.” This year their campaign emphasizes historic buildings and sites that celebrate the contributions of women in Main Street communities across America. Twenty different sites across the United States are included in a contest that see’s the highest vote getter receive a share of $2 million in preservation funding.

Keeping the city’s history alive is important. Recognizing the political, cultural, and historical impact the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis has had on our many communities is important. In order to help the Club receive this funding, which they will use to restore their 600+ person theater, head on over to, cast your vote for the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, and show your support for one of the city’s most important institutions. 

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About Michael Rainville, Jr.

A 6th generation Minneapolitan, Michael Rainville Jr. received his B.A. in History from the University of St. Thomas, and is currently enrolled in their M.A. in Art History and Certificate in Museum Studies programs.

Michael is also an intern at the Hennepin History Museum and a lead guide at Mobile Entertainment LLC, giving Segway tours of the Minneapolis riverfront for 7+ years. Contact:

Click here for an interactive map of Michael's past articles.


Hennepin History Museum announces Temporary Museum Closure for Building Improvements

Temporary Museum Closure for Building Improvements:  October 14 - November 4, 2019 

Hennepin History Museum has partnered with the nonprofit Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps (Northern Bedrock) based in Duluth to do repair and restoration to the historic Christian family residence, a nearly one hundred year old mansion that has served as the county historical museum since the mid-1950’s.  Northern Bedrock, which was founded in 2011 in a partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society through a grant from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, is an AmeriCorps service learning organization that provides hands-on training in the historic preservation trades for young adults.

“We are excited to partner with Northern Bedrock and benefit from an organization like theirs being here in Minnesota,” said Museum Executive Director John Crippen. “As stewards of this important building, we are thrilled to have experts in historic restoration and preservation directing the restoration work. And it is an added bonus to be able to help to train a new generation of master craftspeople in the field of historic preservation and restoration.”

The project is being funded through a grant from Hennepin County. Hennepin History Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and receives a portion of its annual operating support from the county. As part of this partnership, two Hennepin County Commissioners serve on the Museum’s Board of Directors.

The Museum will suspend their public museum and research library hours from October 14 - November 4 while Northern Bedrock works on woodwork restoration in the signature Great Room, and light plaster repair and painting throughout the Museum. During the temporary closure, fulfillment of archival
research requests by Museum staff will also be suspended.

Regular public hours at the Museum will resume Tuesday, November 5 with the opening of Votes for Women, an exhibit about the suffrage movement in Hennepin County that is in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the battle for the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. 


Celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day 2019 with Cynthia Froid and Other Local Female Entrepreneurs

On November 14, Women's Entrepreneurship Day 2019 is happening here, at the United Nations in NY, and all over the world. 

In the below video, Cynthia Froid and Laura Keller discuss the upcoming Women's Entrepreneurship Day MN 2019 event, taking place at 3pm-6:30pm, November 14, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Avenue S.


Jimmy Reagan Exhibit opens October 18 at THE Gallery Le Meridien Chambers

Via an October 10 News Release:

Boutique Art destination Le Meridien Chambers, 2017’s Best Hotel in Minnesota by Travel + Leisure Magazine, announces the opening of a new exhibit by Jimmy Reagan to be on display in the Le Meridien Chambers Art Gallery beginning October 18, 2019 with an Opening Celebration to commemorate its entrance.

St. Paul-born artist Jimmy Reagan’s artwork is remarkably vibrant, with highly saturated colors. He incorporates a combination of both wide, viscous and small, thin brush strokes that layer a sumptuous textural quality in each piece. The subjects - often people and animals - are given unexpected energy with cubic etching endowing a sculptural quality and Impressionistic brush-work, short lines he defines as “tick marks” that etherealize the piece. Some of the art has brevity and quirk and some emulates a virulent depth of mood, nearly impossible to look away from.

Diagnosed with complex Autism at age 2, Reagan’s work offers a means to illustrate his perspective, to communicate in depths he is otherwise physically limited. Each piece is a vessel, expressing the world Through Jimmy’s Eyes, a peek into the complexity of his mind. Each piece sold - about 500 so far - goes directly to care for Jimmy and to fund local charities and organizations that have helped him along the way. To date, TJE Fashion has also sold thousands of clothing accessories extrapolated from portions of Jimmy’s paintings. Jimmy Reagan supports U of MN Masonic Children’s Hospital and has recently launched a campaign together with them called #CaughtCaring in which caregivers can be nominated to be gifted a headband- for every headband sold, one headband is donated.
This exciting exhibit continues Le Meridien Chamber THE Gallery’s legacy of curating stimulating contemporary art from all over the world able to be enjoyed by guests and visitors free of charge. The unique merging of travel and art has caught national attention with features on The Today Show, Architectural Digest, HGTV, US News, Forbes, & Fox News, citing the bold original pieces by artists like Damien Hirst & Gary Hume that are showcased throughout the lobby and guestrooms. Le Meridien Chambers Marketing Manager Matthew Galaviz-Reed gives insight to the motivation behind the feature, “Jimmy Reagan’s pieces are enchanting. As a gallery guest moves from piece to piece, they will traverse a great many emotions and energies cast by each work. We look forward to sharing Jimmy’s work with Le Meridien Chambers Guests and all of Minneapolis and beyond”.

The Opening Event is free, open to the public and will take place October 18, from 7-10pm. Enjoy libations and shop TJE Fashion Apparel and accessories. Also featuring a special musical guest. Located at THE Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers, 901 Hennepin Avenue.

Learn More about Through Jimmy's Eyes Art:

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project Update

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Ave. reconstruction project, led by City of Minneapolis Public Works, will be reconstructed between 12th Street and Washington Avenue beginning Spring 2019.  The project will reconstruct the pavement from building face to building face, including improvements to public and private utility infrastructure, and improved infrastructure for pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and vehicles.
Latest Project News

Utility work continues along the corridor. Centerpoint Energy completed their work on the North end of the project.  Xcel Energy and Sewer replacement work will continue into the winter.

What's Coming Up 

Xcel Energy is working south toward 5th St from 3rd St. continuing to upgrade their infrastructure, both manholes and duct banks.  This work is ahead of schedule.  Other crews are focused on the work south of 7th St. 

The sewer work will be reaching 11th St. next week as they head toward 12th St.  The crossing of the 11th St. intersection will require short intersection closures and lane restriction starting evening of Friday 10/18.

Please see update attached for current work and details on the 11th St restrictions.


For more information on this project contact: 

Construction Manager, or 612-225-4049 


Former County Commissioner, Mark Andrew, Joins Initiative to Transform Lock and Dam into World-Class Visitors and Interpretative Center

Mark Andrew, former Hennepin County Commissioner and chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, has been named president of Friends of the Lock & Dam (FL&D). The nonprofit’s mission is to create a destination visitor and interpretive center at the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock, called The Falls Initiative, at the heart of the Central Riverfront in downtown Minneapolis.

Pictured (left to right): Paul Reyelts, co-founder and board chair Friends of the Lock & Dam (FL&D), Mark Andrew, president of FL&D and Kjersti Monson, director of The Falls Initiative. Photo credit: Friends of the Lock & Dam

In this newly created position, Andrew will forge a coalition of support for the riverfront revitalization among key decision makers in government, business and the private sector.

To advance project development, Andrew will draw on his 20 years of leadership experience as a Hennepin County Commissioner. He has played an integral role in bringing several signature riverfront projects to completion, including the Stone Arch Bridge and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, and led the effort to create the Midtown Greenway. Previously, Andrew led GreenMark Enterprises, an environmentally-focused marketing and public affairs consultancy.

“The Falls Initiative is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize an exceptional and defining city project that will have international significance,” said Andrew. “We want to reconnect this storied river with all the people who come to live, learn and visit by its banks.”

Kjersti Monson, director of The Falls Initiative, will continue to manage project planning, design and implementation as she works with key partners, authorities and stakeholders to shape the vision. Monson is a former director of planning for the City of Minneapolis and an expert in real estate, urban design, and policy and planning.

“Securing Mark’s leadership is a milestone for this project and for FL&D,” said Monson. “He understands what it takes to drive transformational change and knows how to bring stakeholders along on the journey.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which operates the lock and dam for the federal government, closed the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock to commercial use in 2015, when Congress suspended navigation. The congressional act reflected growing concerns about declining barge traffic and invasive species.

The Army Corps is now proceeding with a disposition study to assess options for lock and dam ownership, operation and maintenance. Friends of the Lock & Dam, together with the City of Minneapolis and key organizational stakeholders, envision repurposing the lock and dam as a unique destination on the Central Riverfront.

“Friends of the Lock and Dam has developed a compelling vision to transform an obsolete structure into a landmark destination where Minneapolis residents and visitors can access and experience our city’s greatest natural asset. Their ability to recruit a leader of Mark Andrew’s caliber to the project is evidence of the strength of the concept and adds even more momentum to the FL&D’s vision,” said Steve Fletcher, Minneapolis city council member, Ward 3.

The Falls Initiative will include a visitor center, staffed in cooperation with the National Park Service, Meet Minneapolis and others. Other proposed components include restaurant and special event space, educational exhibits and programming in partnership with cultural, historical and environmentally-focused institutions. In collaboration with Wilderness Inquiry, planned recreational activities include water access for canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

Paul Reyelts, FL&D co-founder and board chair, emphasized the significance of hiring a proven leader like Andrew to lead The Falls Initiative forward as it gains momentum toward development.

“We are expanding the organization now so that when the disposition study is complete in 2020, we will be ready to activate the next phase,” said Reyelts. “The initiative reflects the vision and values of connecting, activating, interpreting and promoting the relationship between the river and the city, and between diverse neighborhoods and people. It’s really a way to build community.”

About Friends of the Lock & Dam

The nonprofit Friends of the Lock and Dam was co-founded in 2016 by community leaders Paul Reyelts and Mark Wilson. Its mission: to repurpose the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock to a world- class destination, consistent with the Central Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan and fully integrated with the Water Works/RiverFirst Initiative. Since its inception, the organization has raised over $5 million for preliminary design work, built a coalition of more than 24 riverfront community-minded organizations and worked closely with the City of Minneapolis to advance the concept.


Minnesota Bach Ensemble Announces 2019-2020 Opening Concert at MacPhail

Minnesota Bach Ensemble Announces 2019-2020 Opening Concert for its 8th Season
MBE welcomes new Artistic Director Mischa Santora!
After seven successful seasons under the expert leadership of Andrew Altenbach, Minnesota Bach Ensemble (MBE) is opening a new chapter of its exploration and performance of the works of J.S. Bach, his sons and contemporaries. Mr. Santora comes to MBE after an exhaustive search for a conductor both knowledgeable and experienced in baroque music and possessing the considerable technical skills needed for this challenging and often tricky repertoire. He also brings a warm and collaborative conducting style.
The October 26 and 28 program features J.S. Bach and his family. J.S. Bach’s sons respected and revered their father, but ultimately rejected his complex style of composition. Their search for new paths forward is one of the most exciting (and rarely told) stories in music history. Linh Kauffman (soprano), Philip Zawisza (baritone), and Adam Kuenzel (flute) are the featured soloists in this celebratory season opener.
Saturday, October 26 | 3pm
Monday, October 28 | 7pm
Antonello Hall - MacPhail Center for Music 
J.S. Bach - Chamber Cantata BWV 152 in E minor, Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn
C.P.E. Bach - Concerto for Flute and Strings in D minor, H.484.1                   
W.F. Bach – Sinfonia in F Major (“Dissonant”), F. 67                     
J.S. Bach – Ouverture (Suite) No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066
Performances are approximately 2 hours in duration, including intermission. All tickets are general seating and available online and at the door ($30, $10 students).
The Minnesota Bach Ensemble is a professional chamber orchestra dedicated to performing the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. We seek to engage and enrich the lives of our audiences and musicians with each performance, presenting masterworks as well as overlooked gems in the repertoire.

Mayor Frey and Eleven Team Break Ground on $190 Million Project

Via an October 9 News Release:

The ceremony, which took place on the Eleven site in front of a 30-foot visual of building, included from left to right, Brian Murray, CEO of Ryan Companies, Carl Runck, Director of Real Estate Development for Ryan Companies, Luigi Bernadi, CEO Arcadia Management LLC, Dave Weinberger, CFO Arcadia Management LLC, Mike Ryan, President North Region Ryan Companies and Paul Whalen, Partner at RAMSA.Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and the team from Eleven, Minneapolis’ first luxury condominium project, recently broke ground on construction for the $190 million project.

Eleven is the first residential project in the city to be designed by Robert A.M. Stern (RAMSA), based in New York City.  Luigi Bernardi of Arcadia LLC is serving as the project sponsor and co-developer and Ryan Companies is serving as co-developer, builder and is partnering with RAMSA as the architect. 

The 550-foot, 41-story Eleven tower will be Minneapolis’ tallest residential building.

Soon to be the premier address in the Mill District, Eleven will typically have four units per floor, transitioning to two units per floor, and finally one unit per floor in the upper portion of the building. Each home includes a large private terrace which is at least 14 x 14 feet.  RAMSA, Ryan, and local firms Peterssen/Keller Architects and Martha Dayton Design and Sotheby’s International Realty have ensured the building interior is as thoughtful as its exterior.

Amenities include a large landscaped terrace that will be unlike any other in the city including a 75-foot lap pool, a private motor court, a 24/7 doorman, an expansive fitness suite, a multi-sport court, a library, a golf simulator, a children’s splash pad, retail space (ideally for a restaurant), a demonstration kitchen with dining, residential and guest parking, storage, and more. More information and additional visuals can be found on the website,

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About Arcadia LLC

Luigi Bernardi serves as president of two real estate development and investment companies, Arcadia LLC and Aurora Investments which began developing Twin Cities commercial real estate in 1987. Now, focusing on medical-related facilities and multi-family residential development, recent projects include the Velo luxury apartments in downtown Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood and Aurora on France in Edina.

About Ryan Companies US, Inc. 

Founded in 1938, Ryan Companies offers comprehensive commercial real estate services as a national developer, architect, capital investment consultant, builder and real estate manager with a focus on bringing lasting value to its customers and the communities in which it works.  Ryan’s market focuses include residential, retail, industrial, healthcare, corporate office, and senior living. Ryan has nearly 1,300 employees in 16 offices and has completed projects in 38 states. For more information, visit

About Robert A. M. Stern Architects

Robert A.M. Stern Architects is a 265-person firm of architects, interior designers and support staff that has earned an international reputation as a leading design firm with wide experience in residential, commercial, and institutional work throughout the U.S. and around the world. The firm’s extraordinary portfolio of residential buildings, combining its longstanding dedication to the design of private residences with its deep commitment to urban place-making, includes such record-setting landmarks as 15 Central Park West in New York for Zeckendorf Development and residential towers in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Vancouver. "Eleven" is the firm's first project in Minneapolis. 


City Closing Streets Around Target Center in Preparation for President Trump’s Rally at Target Center 

Via an October 8 e-announcement from the City of Minneapolis:

The City is planning limited street closures around Target Center ahead of President Trump’s political rally in Target Center Thursday evening. 

Beginning 8 p.m. Wednesday, the following streets will be closed around Target Center:

  • First Avenue North from Sixth Street North to Eighth Street North.
  • Second Avenue North from Fifth Street North to 10th Street North.
  • Sixth Street North between First Avenue North and Second Avenue North.
  • Seventh Street North between Hennepin Avenue and 10th Street North; access to parking ramp will be provided.
  • Twins Way between Seventh Street North and 10th Street North.

Interstate 394 to/from downtown access changes:

  • Exit ramp to Sixth Street North will close 8 p.m. Wednesday.
  • HOV entrance ramp at Third Avenue North and Fifth Street North will close 8 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Access to Ramps A and B will close 9 a.m. Thursday. Ramps A and B may be accessed from local streets.

Minneapolis managed parking ramp facilities will be open for parking until full, including the ABC Ramps. On-street parking will be restricted in some areas of downtown to facilitate traffic operations.

Metro Transit expects to have regular service with detours as needed due to street closures. Riders from affected routes who are subscribed to receive alerts will see them Wednesday morning. Riders are also encouraged to stay tuned to Metro Transit’s social media channels for real time updates.

Shared scooters will not be available in Minneapolis on Thursday. Nice Rice stations and dockless hubs will also be out of service in the area near Target Center. Normal operations will resume Friday.

The City of Minneapolis has worked closely with other government agencies and partners on a traffic management plan to minimize disruption to traffic and parking as much as possible. Traffic conditions will be dynamic Thursday with the potential for increasing congestion by the end of the day. Traffic control agents will be coordinating traffic flow between buses, cars and pedestrians. Please follow their directions to make sure everyone gets in and out of downtown safely.

Click here for map of road closures.

For questions, contact:

Renee Allen, Crime Prevention Specialist
Minneapolis Police Department, First Precinct
(612) 673-5163