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Minneapolis Riverfront News

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

Gold Medal Park to Be Preserved for 50 Years

Letter to the Editor - Together We Can Stop Crown Hydro

Opinion: Water Works Design Threatens Historic Riverfront

Crown Hydro Action Alert: Submit Your Comments to the Feds


Marcy-Holmes “Box Fresh” Utility Wraps Project 

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA) commissioned six local artists to create original artwork to cover utility boxes throughout Marcy-Holmes.  These utility boxes, formerly covered with graffiti, are now permanently wrapped with original designs.

The “Box Fresh” Utility Wraps Project is a collaboration of the MHNA and The Soap Factory.  Images range from a city nightscape and vintage photo booth to contemporary and conceptual designs.


Friends of the Mississippi annual “Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River” set for October 1

Friends of the Mississippi has held their annual “Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River” since 2002.   This year’s location is the Weisman Art Museum, overlooking the beginning of the River Gorge, and a beautiful place to celebrate the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River.

This year’s event will feature playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling as the guest speaker. Kevin is perhaps best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and his storytelling stage shows like “Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log”. He delivers hilarious, often tender autobiographical tales that are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are. His storytelling started when a friend from the now defunct Brass Tacks Theatre asked him to perform his stories. Since then, he has been awarded numerous arts grants and fellowships. The National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and others have recognized Kling’s artistry. On October 1, he will be highlighting the Mississippi River in his tales and stories.

The live auction will feature delicious food and beer experiences, outings, art, and far away destinations – all with a link to the Mississippi River! More details will follow in the coming months.  Expect fantastic hors d’oeuvres and beverages, the company of fellow river lovers, a testimonial or two, and more.

NOTE - The evening is invitation only, and invitations will be sent in August. Please contact John at or 651-222-2193 x19 to receive an invite.


Public Invited to Attend Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Ecological System Plan Meetings August 7 & 27 

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) are preparing the first-ever Ecological System Plan. This plan will set a vision for making parks and public lands more friendly to the environment.

The initial Public Meeting is August 7, 5:30-7:30pm, at the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board, 2117 West River Road.

The Ecological System Plan will seek to first understand the ecology of the city and watershed, then plan for parks and public lands management and improvements that benefit both humans and nature. It will address specific threats such as climate change, decreasing water quality, explosion of invasive species, increasing runoff, and fragmentation of habitat. It will envision a more environmentally sound way of managing the impacts of the city, so that the city can be cleaner, greener, cooler, and more efficient.

 Specifically, the ecological system plan will:

  • Compile, create, and illustrate city-wide ecological data;
  • Craft a vision for natural resources and public lands within the watershed and city;
  • Outline guiding principles for management; and
  • Challenge the community to rethink the city around them—from the local neighborhood park to the Grand Rounds to backyards—in terms of ecological function, benefit, and health

In addition to attending the first CAC meeting, the public may provide input and stay informed about the project in the following ways:  

  • Visit the project website to stay up to date on the project and see some of the amazing maps and drawings we plan to create. Go to and select “Ecological System Plan.”
  • Attend the second CAC meeting scheduled for August 27 and another in October, the exact date of which is to be determined. All CAC meetings will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm at MPRB headquarters.
  • Attend any of the planned community events that will take place in the parks over the next year and a half. More details will be made available on the project website as these events are scheduled and planned.
  • Sign up to receive e-mail updates by subscribing on the project website or at or, if you are already a subscriber, by adding “Ecological System Plan” to your subscription preferences.

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Grand Opening Celebration for Dinkytown Greenway Phase 3

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, July 28

Tuesday, July 29

Wednesday, July 30

Thursday, July 31

Friday, August 1

Saturday, August 2

Sunday, August 3


[Download] West Bank Interpretive Vision - Final Draft

Excerpt from the introduction to the West Bank Interpretive Vision:

The West Bank of St. Anthony Falls was once an internationally known industrial complex built on the only waterfall on one of the world’s great rivers. Today the waterfall and river are attracting millions of visitors each year, many of whom enjoy the historical, cultural, and natural resources of the area.

What draws people to St. Anthony Falls has changed through time. The powerful river that flows over the falls had once sustained native people; today the falls remain a spiritual place for the Dakota. When early tourists traveled far and wide to admire wonders of nature, the falls became a sought-after destination. When rivers powered the nation’s industry, the falls produced enough energy to run the greatest milling center the world had ever known. When only railroads linked western farms to manufacturing centers and international ports, the falls stood at a critical hub of the nation’s rail network. The falls have long sustained an enduring confluence of human and natural systems

As a center for industry, the West Bank reached its zenith between the 1880s and 1920s, when Minneapolis was known as the “flour milling capital of the world.” In the decades that followed much of the area’s waterpower, milling, and railroad complex was buried, removed, or lost to fire. What remains is an extraordinary archaeological resource that holds memorable stories and large-scale artifacts, that if revealed would astonish today’s visitors. The area also holds stories of the falls that transcend history—in relationships with people and animals that are as present today as they have been for millennia.

Stay tuned for when the download of the West Bank Interpretive Vision is available!  Sorry for the error.


Letter to the Editor Regarding Key Riverfront Gateway Parcel

By Diane Hofstede:

The Krause family has withdrawn their agreement for a proposed liquor store at 80 Broadway Street Northeast in our community’s gateway!

The St. Anthony West Board voted to deny the conditional use permit and the application for the Krause Liquor Store. The community submitted over 700 public comments against the proposal, and over 400 people signed a petition against the 7,500 square foot store, in the heart of the arts district of Northeast, only a stones through from the Mississippi riverfront, the new Sheridan Veterans Memorial Park, and the historic Grain Belt Brewery Complex.

The reasons for the community support against the proposal are the following:

1. We support the Minneapolis Plan for Sustainability and Growth Parks and Trails plan for Marshall Street designated as a future parkway. Marshall Street is a well-travelled bike corridor. Biking amenities are critical as a means of connecting with the rest of the city, and to embellish our transportation network. Off street bike lanes along the river front are not possible, due to the topography of the area as the riverfront moves north. Dedicated bike lanes and a parkway is one of many reasons for our discussions with Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Parks Board, and the purpose of our vison of dedicated bike lanes and parkway integrated in the Above the Falls Master Plan.

2. The intersection is a Gateway to Northeast Minneapolis, and the Northeast Arts District. This Gateway parcel is adjacent to the international headquarters of a Fortune 500 company (Graco), the historic Grain Belt building wheel house, repurposed as the Pierre Bottineau Public Library, and the headquarters of locally based Northeast Bank; it is near the historic Grain Belt Complex which is the location of two buildings on the National Historic Register, the former Grain Belt brewery, and the Grain Belt office building, currently under restoration. The proposal would have not created the impression desired for the community, or maximize compatibility with the surrounding neighborhoods, nor meet the stated goals of the Grain Belt Brewery Area Development Objectives.

3. The proposed development would have increased traffic and congestion, in addition to the daily 27,000 cars, trucks and semi-trucks it would have created additional conflicts with our stated long term goal of dedicated bike lanes, parkway, and our active biker pedestrian area. The impact of the Marshall Street curb cut on bicycle/pedestrian safety, in one of the most congested intersections in the City. We believe it is critical to maintain multimodal transportation corridors in order to link open spaces and parks with surrounding neighborhoods. The highly trafficked area would have become more congested, negatively impacting needed linkages in the city.

As a community, our collective goals are to ensure that adjacent land uses contribute to the safety and ambiance of parks and open spaces. Maintain and improve the accessibility of open spaces and parks to all residents. Continue to beautify open spaces through well designed landscaping that complements and improves the city’s urban form on many scales from street trees to expansive views of our river.

The development was the wrong idea, in the wrong place. Marshall Street is slated to become the parkway, and dedicated bikeways with millions of dollars are being invested to create a more vibrant front door along this river corridor. We embrace our distillery and brewing past & present in Northeast, and we celebrate our history which was crafted carefully after many years of an industrial focus. In a three mile radius we have 72 on and off sale liquor establishments. We support amenities to our community that embellish and support our rich history. This proposal did not!

What’s next you might ask? Upon withdrawal of the Krause agreement the property owner had three offers, all for the same amount as the liquor store proposal. At this time, the agreement with the owner is for the development of a health care facility. More information will in available in mid-October. In the interim, the St. Anthony West neighborhood has begun a small area plan. We are looking forward, to looking forward with our history as our guide and thoughtful dialogue.

Diane Hofstede is a community organizer and former City Council Member representing the 3rd Ward.