Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Susan Schaefer

Julie Craven

Joan Bennett

Claudia Kittock
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Doug Verdier

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

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.


Washignton Avenue Reconstruction Project Update

Generic Save the Date AB bannerVia an October 21 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

First section of new cycle track paved
Crews began paving the first section of a new cycle track, or curb-protected bike lane, this week on Washington Avenue (County Road 152) between Hennepin and 2nd avenues. This is a key milestone in fulfilling one of the main design goals of the Washington Avenue project: to improve safety and overall experience for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Paving new cycle track on Washington AvenueCrews paving the new cycle track between Hennepin and 2nd avenues

Once complete, Washington Avenue will have new one-way cycle tracks on both sides of the roadway from Hennepin Avenue to 5th Avenue.
These new cycles tracks will be the middle segment of a safe and continuous route for bicyclists from I-35W to Plymouth Avenue. Last year, a restriping project created new bicycle lanes from Hennepin Avenue to Plymouth Avenue. In 2017, a planned restriping project will create new in-street bicycle lanes from 5th Avenue to I-35W.

Other work on Washington Avenue

Elsewhere on the project, crews will also be busy this week:
• Laying curbs and gutters between 4th and 5th avenues
• Replacing sanitary and storm sewer pipes between 3rd and 5th avenues
• Beginning underground utility work at the 3rd Avenue intersection
• Digging tree pits and trenches for new enhanced landscaping

Next week, crews expect to begin paving between 2nd and 3rd avenues and between 4th and 5th avenues.

Traffic changes and considerations

As work continues to progress, there are a few ongoing and upcoming traffic changes at intersections to consider when traveling in the area.

5th Avenue
Crews opened a northbound through lane at the 5th avenue intersection last Friday. All below ground utility work is now complete and crews are continuing with work on curbs and gutters. The intersection is expected to fully reopen early next month.

3rd Avenue
Work began this week in the northwest part of the 3rd Avenue intersection. Two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained for the next couple weeks while this work occurs. Crews will then flip to the other side of the intersection. Pedestrians should cross on the side opposite the active work area.

2nd Avenue
Work is complete at the 2nd Avenue intersection and all lanes are now back open to traffic.

Contact us

Phone: 612-543-3722
Project engineer:
Stanley Lim, P.E.


StarTribune Nov 15 Event: Behind the Lens: Photos of the Year

The StarTribune invites you to an exclusive presentation of their 2016 Photos of the Year along with an in-depth conversation Behind the Lens with Star Tribune photojournalists Brian Peterson, who shot this year’s Olympics, and Renée Jones Schneider, who was named 2016 Journalist of the Year by the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists.

Date: Tuesday, November 15

Time: 6-8:30pm
•6pm: Hors d’Oeuvres and Cash Bar
•7:15pm: Presentation Begins
•8pm: Audience Q&A

Location: Walker Art Center, Bazinet Lobby and Walker Cinema

Each guest will receive complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a 5×7 photo reprint of one of the 2016 Photos of the Year. A cash bar will also be available.

Advance ticket purchase for Behind the Lens is required, a limited number of tickets are available. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate walk-ups on the day of the event.

Brian Peterson: Photographer Brian Peterson was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and has enjoyed a career that allows him to pursue stories he cares most about in his home state and around the world. He’s best known for his work since 1987 for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but his photographs have also been seen in National Geographic and Sports Illustrated magazines, the New York Times.

Brian has been recognized nationally and internationally for his documentary photojournalism, and has been honored nine times as Minnesota Press Photographer of the Year. He has photographed the Winter and Summer Olympic Games five times and his sports photography has been honored by the national baseball and football Halls of Fame and the National Press Photographers Association.

Peterson has published two books “Voices for the Land and “Minnesota – State of Wonders” and has won three Minnesota Book Awards.

Renée Jones Schneider: Renée Jones Schneider has been a Star Tribune photographer for 13 years and covered some of the company’s biggest assignments, including when a Hmong hunter opened fire, killing six other hunters in Rice Lake, Wis. Her recent long-term projects, shooting both multimedia and stills, include a series on deradicalization of extremist groups locally and nationally, an investigation of farm safety and an in-depth report on the decline of the honey bee. This year, Renee was named Journalist of the Year by Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists.

Before joining the Star Tribune, Renee worked for the Owatonna People’s Press and the Faribault Daily News. In 2004, Renee placed in the prestigious World Press Awards for a photo of a pouty fourth-place wrestler on an awards podium.

Renée was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Minnesota with her parents as a child. She attended St. Olaf College majoring in studio art. Halfway through that major that she discovered photography, during two overnights on a documentary project at St. Paul’s famous Mickey’s Diner. It was her first taste of how a camera and observation can introduce you to the most interesting people you would otherwise never meet.


New Mill City Museum Exhibit Chronicles the History of the Minneapolis Music Scene

Via an October 19 Press Release from the Mill City Museum:

The new exhibit “Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis” explores the local music scene from the early 1980s to today through the lens of longtime First Avenue photographer Daniel Corrigan. Throughout his career, Corrigan has captured concerts, promo photos and album covers for iconic artists like Prince, The Replacements, Michael Jackson, Iggy Pop and many more.

Visitors can view nearly 50 framed Corrigan photos as well as a slideshow with thousands of additional unpublished photographs. The exhibit is a companion to the MNHS Press book of the same name, featuring Corrigan’s photos with text by local music writer Danny Sigelman, available November 1.

Mill City Museum will celebrate the exhibit’s opening with a public reception on November 16 from 6-8:30 p.m. hosted by Andrea Swensson of 89.3 The Current. Corrigan and Sigelman will speak about their work and will be available to sign copies of the book. A cash bar and food from D’Amico & Sons Cafe will be available for purchase.

“Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis” is located in the museum’s Mill Commons, and is free and open to the public during regular museum hours. It will be on view Nov. 16, 2016 to April 30, 2017.


City of Minneapolis and MPRB Receive One Submission for Master Developer of Upper Harbor Terminal Phase 1 Redevelopment

Via an October 17 joint News Release from the City of Minneapolis, CPED and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Receive One Submission for Master Developer Upper Harbor Terminal Phase 1 Redevelopment

Five Submissions for Development Partners Were Also Received

On Friday, October 14, 2016, the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) closed their request for qualifications (RFQ) period seeking submissions for the Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) Phase 1 redevelopment. The UHT site is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, from 33rd Ave. N. to about 40th Ave. N.

One submission was received from a team comprised of United Properties, Thor Development and First Avenue Productions.

The City’s and MPRB’s goal for the property is to redevelop this key riverfront site from its previous use as a barge shipping terminal to a mixture of riverfront parkland and inland private development. Additional information about the site, the redevelopment goals and the RFQ process may be found at

Following an initial staff review, the submission will be revealed at a community input meeting to be held:

Thursday, November 3
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Folwell Park Recreation Center
1615 Dowling Ave. N, Minneapolis

Additional information about the submission will be posted on the website, along with more details about the community input meeting and other ways available for the public to provide input on the submission.

A City/MPRB Recommendation Committee then will complete its review and make a recommendation to the City Council and Park Board as to whether this development team should be selected to enter into a collaborative planning process with the City and MPRB, with community input. This process will be guided by a three-party exclusive rights agreement that will be authorized at the same time as the developer selection. It is hoped that developer selection can be completed and the exclusive rights agreement executed so that the planning process can begin in March of 2017.

Submissions also were received from five teams interested in being considered as “potential development partners.” These submissions will not be reviewed by the City or MPRB, but will instead be passed along to the selected master developer for consideration as part of the development concept and team.


REMINDER! Voter Pre-registration Deadline is October 18

Via an October 17 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Hennepin County announces weekly voting stats


Hennepin County has more than 747,000 pre-registered voters, the highest in recorded history.

Eligible voters can save time on Election Day and pre-register to vote before October 18 online. All eligible voters may also register to vote at their polling place on Election Day, November 8.

As of Monday, October 17, in Hennepin County: 

  • Ballots issued (mail and in-person absentee voting) – 74,000
  • Ballots issued since Monday, October 10 – 16,000
  • Ballots received and accepted (mail and in-person absentee voting) – 31,000
  • Ballots received and accepted since Monday, October 10 – 17,000 

Since the primary election on August 9, 2016, the number of pre-registered voters in Hennepin County has grown by 31,000.

For the 2012 presidential election, Hennepin County had 678,074 pre-registered voters and 131,000 Election Day registrants. About 683,000 Hennepin County residents voted in the 2012 presidential election. 

Each week, Hennepin County will provide the latest stats on voter registration and early voting progress. 

Hennepin County Elections Manager Ginny Gelms is available for interviews and comments. Click here for more information about elections and voting in Hennepin County.


Friends of the Mill District Update

By Claudia Kittock

The Friends of the Mill District Singers had the last rehearsal of the first 6 week section of this year. We were all amazed at the improvement in our sound.  The joy we get from singing together is wonderful, and we laugh with each other, sing with great enthusiasm, and are united in our feelings of community.

At the end of rehearsal we met for a social at the home of Rick and Claudia Kittock . . . and singing, laughing, and dancing broke out!  Who knew?

If you missed singing with us, please remedy the situation with our next block of rehearsals.  We will begin again on November 12, 2:00pm-3:30pm, at the Guthrie, and will practice every Saturday through December 17.  The plans are for several performances with other groups and some with just our group.

This group is sponsored by Friends of the Mill District and is free for all singers.  Ability is not a prerequisite, but a willingness to sing with great joy is!  If you have any questions, please contact Claudia Kittock at


Adult Shelter Connect - A ‘One Stop Shop’ for People in Need of Shelter

Article and photo by Claudia Kittock

“I walk all night.”

“All night?”

“Yup!  It’s the best way to stay safe. I know the parts of the city to stay away from, and I just walk.”

“What about a shelter?”

“Last night I walked to 3 shelters and none of them had a bed.”      

Jason told me this while having coffee.  He is 20 years old and experiencing homelessness.  I am his GED tutor and we work together on the skills he will need to get his high school diploma and continue with his life’s journey.  Jason wants to go to college, but for now, he walks all night, and sleeps when he gets to YouthLink in the mornings.  After a quick catnap, we work on his studies. His strength fills me with awe.  I can’t imagine walking all night to then start studying for a difficult test so that my life could be better. He is one of many young people I meet every week.

How can this be happening in our city?  How can we live in a country where 20 year olds walk all night because they can’t find a shelter or afford a place to sleep?  It happens every night in Minneapolis.

On Monday, October 17, at 9 a.m., the process of finding a bed will get easier for the Jasons of our city who walk all night, sleep under an overpass, or in a camp along the river.  A program called Adult Shelter Connect will open at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 South 8th Street in Minneapolis. This system is the first of its kind in Minneapolis and it could dramatically change the life of someone experiencing homelessness.

St. Olaf will be open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sunday from 1 p.m. through 5:30 p.m. When someone walks in looking for shelter, they will be matched with a worker who will do a short intake interview to assess vulnerability and need. Each person will get a picture ID card, based on the interview, and that will be used to match them to the best available bed.  Once they get a bed, they will keep that bed while being assisted to find more permanent housing, jobs, education, health care, whatever is needed.  If someone is in need during times other than those listed, they will be able to call 211 and receive the same type of help.

This system will be a ‘one stop shop’ for people needing shelter. As the season changes to colder and colder nights, the need becomes even more immediate, and not knowing where to go or how to access help will be less problematic and less onerous for someone who is already coping with enormous life stresses. It will no longer be necessary to stand in line every night, hoping the shelter has a bed. Once you talk with someone at St. Olafs and are given a bed, no more lines. When you show up that night at the assigned shelter, you will be given the bed assigned to you earlier in the day.

There will be an increase in affordable units built in Minneapolis in 2016 with about 1000 new rentals due to hit the market this year.  However, that is far short of the 4200 new units needed every year to keep up with demand, according to an analysis by Thomas O'Neil, a Vice President at Dougherty Mortgage in Minneapolis.

Affordable housing is defined as what can be paid by households earning 50 to 60 percent of median income in the Twin Cities. Median income in Minneapolis in 2015 was $71,008, which means that to qualify for affordable housing, income needs to be $35,504-$42,605.

We know that there has been an unprecedented apartment building boom, but the vast majority of those new units have been luxury apartments in downtown Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs. Rents far exceed the affordable market.

If this works as well as it is planned, the Jasons of our city will no longer have to walk all night looking for shelter.  Jason will not need to try to figure out a difficult system on his own.  He can go to St. Olaf and find all the help he will need to sleep in a warm bed.  Doesn’t every human being deserve the dignity of a safe place to sleep?

Claudia can be reached at


Holiday Dinner to recognize 2nd Precinct First Responders

The 2nd Precinct Advisory Committee (2PAC) announced last week that on December 24, 2916 it will sponsor the 33rd Annual Dinner to recognize the service of First Responders in the precinct.   See the Calendar for details.

The event will be held at the MPD 2nd Precinct Station House, 1911 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418.

2PAC volunteers begin bringing in merchant donated food, and getting the kitchen and serving area ready at 7:00 A.M. on 12/24/16.  They begin serving all on-duty Police Officers and First Responders at 12 noon.  Serving continues until between 10:30 P.M. & 12 Midnight, depending on when people stop arriving.

Left-overs and fresh breakfast items are set out for on-duty Police working on 12/25/16.  2PAC volunteers arrive at 8:00 A.M. on the 25th to clean the premises, and put things away.

For more information about the event, contact Emile Quast ( or contact the NIEBNA Board using the Contact Form.

For more information about 2PAC and how you can participate see the 2PAC web site here.


Wednesday Night: Loring Park Livability Forum


Scenes from the October 15 Mill City Farmers Market

Thank you to MCFM Sponsor Cynthia Froid and her team for the October 15 Ames Farm apple give away.

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Cute boots, Holly Holt! :)

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

That bee looks familiar...

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

This little cutie was sure proud of her carrot from Stones Throw Urban Farm.

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market


October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Homegrown Minneapolis was the October 15 Community Booth. It is a citywide initiative that brings together key partners from local government, area businesses, community organizations, non-profits and residents to build a healthy, local food system.

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

It's official - Dumpling & Strand (Noodlers at Large) is a Market hit! Definitely worth waiting in line for.

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

This week's Mill City Cooks Chef was Beth Jones.  She always invites guests to come up for a close look at the recipe in progress.

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

I always feel like I'm getting a "high five" from the glass hand at the Barn Swallow Garden booth. :)

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

October 15, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Riverfront advocates propose new park at Minneapolis lock and dam
The plan, with a visitor center and performance space, would remake Mill Ruins Park and the Stone Arch Bridge area but push out a hydro plant.

USA Today: Tour Minneapolis's Mill City Farmers Market
The Mill City Farmers Market offers a tasty slice of Minneapolis's culture whether you're here for the food or to experience the city's historic Mississippi riverfront. Minneapolis has its roots here where timber and grain from around the Midwest came to market on the river and where St. Anthony Falls powered the flour mills of the Pillsbury family and others starting in the 1870s.

Mill City Quarter Woonerf: Outside the box thinking and moving
The woonerf — a Dutch term that translates to ‘shared street’ — is open to pedestrians, bikers and cars alike. The unconventional road creates a much-needed connection from downtown to the West River Parkway, said City Council Member Jacob Frey.

Click to read more ...


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 17

Tuesday, October 18

Wednesday, October 19

Thursday, October 20

Friday, October 21

Saturday, October 22

Sunday, October 23 


Civic Group Proposes Visitor and Interpretive Center for Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

Via an October 14 Press Release from Friends of the Lock and Dam (FL&D):

MINNEAPOLISOctober 14, 2016—St. Anthony Falls created Minneapolis. Today, the falls are the center of a revitalized riverfront and a chain of riverfront parks and trails that attract over 2 million visitors a year across the Stone Arch Bridge.

A new civic organization, Friends of the Lock and Dam (FL&D) is proposing that the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, which was closed to navigation last year, be developed into a world-class visitor and interpretive center. However, this vision is threatened by a proposal to put a hydroelectric plant at the site, preempting other uses.

On Tuesday, FL&D filed a motion before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject a current proposal from Crown Hydro, LLC to build a hydroelectric plant at the Lock and Dam or at least order an environmental impact statement (EIS). The FERC environmental review of the Crown Hydro proposal is open to public comment until November 2.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a riverfront that is a destination landmark. It’s a site we hope to protect and preserve as a centerpiece for our community, for generations to come,” said Tom Fisher, the director of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University of Minnesota and an FL&D board member.

“If construction of the hydroelectric plant is allowed to proceed as proposed, it will negate the four decades of planning and redevelopment efforts by the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the National Park Service,” Fisher added.

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam is at the center of the Minneapolis riverfront area, adjacent to the iconic Stone Arch Bridge, and in the middle of an 800-acre stretch of the Mississippi designated as a National Register Historic District. In 1988, it became part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service. Over the past 20 years, the surrounding area has seen over $2 billion in public and private development.

Since the mid-1990s, Crown Hydro has made multiple proposals to construct a power plant on or near the site. In 2005, after a failed attempt to obtain a license, Crown Hydro unsuccessfully sought FERC’s help to take the parkland by eminent domain. These proposals have been strongly opposed by the City of Minneapolis, the National Park Service and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, as well as hundreds of neighborhood residents. Concerns have focused on loss of historic and cultural values, preclusion of public recreation and river access, and noise and vibration impacts from the plant’s industrial operations. 

Friends of the Lock and Dam was formed to create a community-focused initiative to explore public uses of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and to ensure that the proposed hydroelectric plant does not preempt future uses for the site.  

“Crown made their proposal without communicating with the City, Park Board, National Park Service or the community,” said Paul Reyelts, a leader of the RiverFirst effort and president of FL&D. “It is at odds with the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan, adopted last year, which calls for use of the Lock and Dam as a focal point for visitors. It is simply the wrong use of this critical place.” 

FL&D is asking FERC to order a full environmental impact statement (EIS) before further consideration of the Crown Hydro proposal, or to deny it outright as inconsistent with the broader environmental and public benefit requirements for a FERC license.

The FL&D plan, called “The Falls,” is a sweeping vision for the massive 400-foot-long lock and dam structure, designed to integrate with and complement the nearby Water Works Park and the Stone Arch Bridge. Construction of Water Works Park is scheduled to begin in 2018. FL&D has presented a preliminary concept design for The Falls that preserves the character-defining elements of the Upper Lock and adds the following amenities:

  • A new 7,500-square-foot visitor center in collaboration with the National Park Service, the City and Park Board
  • A 50,000-square-foot interpretive center
  • A new one-acre park for events with public access to the Lock and Dam
  • Below-grade parking for visitors
  • Restaurant and event space
  • Observation decks for 360-degree public viewing of the Falls, Stone Arch Bridge and skyline
  • Canoe/kayak landing and portage and bike facilities

The Falls

The estimated $45 million project would be funded through a new public-private partnership. Revenues from concessions, parking and events would be used for ongoing operation and programming. FL&D has already received a pledge of $5 million from a private donor for project planning and development costs. If approved, construction is estimated to begin in the 2021-2023 timeframe in sync with the riverside phase of Water Works Park.

About Friends of the Lock and Dam

Friends of the Lock and Dam is a nonprofit organization of Twin Cities’ citizens interested in Minneapolis’ riverfront preservation and development of riverfront public amenities. Its mission is to generate broad-based public discussion around the development of the Mississippi riverfront and to share a vision for repurposing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam as a public facility.


Street Closures for October 15 Zombie Pub Crawl

From the Minneapolis Police Department:

This Saturday will bring both Zombies and road closures to Downtown Minneapolis. Check out our Zombie Pub Crawl street closure map, so you can plan your way in and out of downtown accordingly.


Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate Opens November 25

The Minneapolis Downtown Council, in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and Minneapolis SafeZone Collaborative, announced today that the Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate will offer free outdoor skating in Downtown Minneapolis this winter.

Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate will be located in Loring Park and will open on Friday, November 25. The skating rink is free and open to the public daily through the winter skating season.

“It is an exciting opportunity to ensure the Downtown Minneapolis community will have an outdoor skating rink this winter,” said Joe Ravens, Wells Fargo Minnesota Region President. “This partnership is a great way to bring our community together through one of our state’s longstanding traditions.”

The Warming House courtesy of CenterPoint Energy will be open daily during the following hours: Mondays-Fridays 3 pm – 9 pm, Saturdays 9 am – 9 pm, and Sundays 10 am – 6 pm. Hours will be extended by one hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during Holidazzle, which runs November 25-December 23. The warming house will also have special hours on December 24 (12 pm – 4 pm), December 25 (closed) and December 31-January 1 (12 pm – 6 pm).

Complimentary skates will be available during warming house hours on a first-come, first-served basis. Sizes and quantities may vary.

“Skating outdoors is such an important part of Minnesota winters, and we’re excited that Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate will be in downtown Minneapolis this winter,” said Leah Wong, Vice President of Events and Marketing, Minneapolis Downtown Council. “We’re excited for all who live, work, play and explore our downtown area to come out and create memories on the rink right here in the heart of our city.”

In addition to being open daily for public use, Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate will also host activities and programming throughout the year. More information will be announced throughout the winter season.

“Outdoor skating is a great winter addition to Loring Park,” said Jayne Miller, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Superintendent. “Our parks are a gathering place for people to come together, and what better way to congregate during the winter than a skating rink. We’re excited to welcome people to Loring Park this winter and enjoy their skating experience.”

For more information on Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate, visit or follow @MplsDowntown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MplsWinterSkate.


Alma Cafe and Hotel Update + October 14 - 15 Events!

Via an October 12 e-newsletter from Restaurant Alma:

We have some news about our opening (and re-opening dates): Alma Cafe & Hotel will open on Friday, November 11th and Restaurant Alma will reopen on Friday, November 25th! We are putting some final touches on our online reservation system and will send an update out next week on how to reserve rooms at The Alma Hotel. 

We are partnering with some friends to bring a taste of the Cafe outside of our walls. Read below to learn more about Cafe Alma at the Fulton taproom and the Northeast Farmers Market.

Alma at the Fulton Taproom!

We are excited to announce the launch of a series of pop-up cafes at the Fulton Taproom in October. 

To kick off the series, on Friday, October 14th, from 4:30–9:30pm, Matti Sprague, Cafe Chef de Cuisine, will serve small dishes from our soon to open cafe menu. Fulton will be suggesting beer pairings to highlight Matti’s menu. 

On Saturday, October 15th, between 5:00–9:30pm, Alma’s chef and owner Alex Roberts will join Matti in serving, and most definitely will enjoy a beer with guests. This will be an opportunity to talk directly with the faces of Alma about what’s to come with the cafe, restaurant and hotel.

Alma is hiring!

We are looking for good people to join our award winning culinary team in our newly built open kitchen.

Shared with Restaurant Alma, the Cafe kitchen will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The menus are built on the same standards for ingredient sourcing and foundational recipes as our restaurant, but served in an approachable a la carte format. Menus include everything from snacks to full meals and feature a wide range of items including extensive seasonal vegetable preparation, traditional sauces, hearth baked breads, extruded pasta and whole animal butchery.

If you are interested in becoming part of our team, send a cover letter and resume to Matti Sprague (

Bakery pop-up!

Carrie and her team are back in the kitchen (this time our brand new production kitchen) and they are baking again!

On Saturday, October 15th, they will be setting up a stand at the Northeast Farmers Market at St. Boniface Church. In addition to fresh baked tarts, we will have savory and sweet galettes, cookies and pies. Stop by between 9am–1pm to say hi, and to fill your shopping bags. 

Northeast Farmers Market
St. Boniface Church Parking Lot
629 NE 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55413
(corner of University Avenue & 7th Avenue NE)


Preserve Minneapolis Seeks New Board of Directors Members 

Preserve Minneapolis looking for a few new members for their Board of Directors. There are a few skill sets they are particulary looking for (detailed below), but they'd love to hear from anyone passionate about preservation in Minneapolis, no matter your background.

To be considered, please send a letter of interest to Board Secretary Kelly Mastin ( by November 1, 2016. 

In your letter, please include comments regarding:

•  Your interest and/or background in preservation in Minneapolis (or elsewhere)
•  How you could help the board and the organization in its mission to improve the quality of life in Minneapolis by recognizing, preserving, and revitalizing the architectural and related cultural resources of the city of Minneapolis
•  Special skills, experience, or interests (etc.) that you would contribute to the board

These positions are for a one-year term, with the possibility of a longer-term extension. The Board meets every other month, in addition to the annual meeting. View current Board of Directors.

Right now, they are seeking new board members (and volunteers - you don't need to be on the board!) with the following expertise:

• Website management (namely, experience with WordPress)
• Bookkeeping/accounting (to advise our treasurer)
• Video production (to assist with creating short videos about our tours and other events)
• Communications


Minneapolis Downtown Council To Honor 2025 Plan Leadership Awards Recipients At Annual Gala On Thursday, October 20

MINNEAPOLIS (October 11, 2016) — The Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) announced today the winners of its annual Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan Leadership Awards, all of whom will be honored at MDC’s Gala taking place Thursday, October 20 at Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot (225 South 3rd Avenue). The awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 pm.

The 2025 Plan Leadership Awards, now in their third year, celebrate individuals, organizations and initiatives that helped advance the 2025 Plan’s mission over the past year. The awards focus on specific efforts that fall under the six 2025 Plan committees focused on Development, Downtown Experience, Greening & Public Realm, Transportation, Ending Street Homelessness and Festival of Ideas (MiX). MDC also honors a group or initiative that made an exceptional impact on downtown through its 2025 Plan Impact Award.

“We have an exceptional network of people and businesses within our community that volunteer their time, talents and efforts toward helping us create a vibrant and extraordinary downtown,” said Steve Cramer, President & CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District. “The 2025 Plan Leadership Awards are our way of saying thank you while honoring those that went above and beyond over the past year.”

This year’s 2025 Plan Leadership Awards recipients include:

  • Development: University of Minnesota Task Force co-chaired by David Marquis and Paige Rickert
  • Downtown Experience: Northbest: Ads of Minnesota in collaboration with Doug Spong & AdFed MN
  • Greening & Public Realm: The Commons
  • Transportation: Commissioner Charlie Zelle
  • Ending Street Homelessness: YouthLink Peer Street Outreach Program
  • Festival of Ideas (MiX): John Sweeney
  • 2025 Plan Impact Award:

The Minneapolis Downtown Council issued a call for nominations for this year’s 2025 Plan Leadership Awards in August, asking its members, 2025 Plan committee leadership, volunteers, and the public to nominate individuals, organizations, or initiatives that have impacted the 2025 Plan’s 10 main goals over the past 12 months. Those nominations were compiled and one winner was selected for each of the six 2025 Plan committee areas.

The 2025 Plan Impact Award is an additional award given to recognize an individual or organization that has had significant impact and greatly advanced the 2025 Plan in several areas of its initiatives over the past year.

The University of Minnesota Task Force co-chaired by David Marquis and Paige Rickert focuses on the 2025 Plan’s mission to forge a strong connection with the U of M. This year, the task force worked on projects that helping connect university students and faculty with the downtown business community. In an effort to help our downtown community attract and retain top, up-coming talent, this task force delivered opportunities to accentuate shared objectives and points of connection between potential future employees and the local business community.

Northbest: Ads of Minnesota, a partnership between MDC, AdFed MN and The 2025 Plan’s Downtown Experience Committee, was a new event in 2016 that highlighted the local creative advertising community. The event took place at The Commons in downtown Minneapolis on October 4 and included a big screen that showcased a reel of locally made ads. Doug Spong chaired a curation committee, which also included Sue Crolick, Nancy Rice and Steve Wehrenberg. After a call for nominations, the curation committee received 138 advertisement submissions from 19 local agencies. They then selected the 27 best from the group. Northbest also included food trucks, local craft beer, lawn games and networking, and it led into AdFed MN’s Silver Medal Award presentation.

The Commons, a new 4.2-acre green space located on two city blocks in East Town, opened this summer and provides a new park for the downtown community. The Commons offers a place for people to take a break during the work day, a gathering and connection point, an entertainment destination and much more. The park was designed by Hargreaves Associates, and was a public and private collaborative effort. The Commons is open to the public but can also host events.

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle has been a longtime supporter of transportation enhancement. Commissioner Zelle was appointed by MnDOT in 2012 and has served as a 2025 Plan volunteer since the plan was initially conceived in 2010. He has been an advocate and a supporter of enhanced transportation options in downtown Minneapolis and the surrounding region.

The YouthLink Peer Street Outreach Program is a collaborative effort that places youth outreach workers on the street throughout downtown Minneapolis in an effort to connect with and provide resources for youth ages 18 to 23 years old who are experiencing homelessness. The youth outreach workers all have a background of experiencing homelessness themselves. The program offers them a job that helps direct those in need to vital resources in the community. It also offers the youth outreach workers a scholarship to cover the cost of a class at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

John Sweeney of The Brave New Workshop has been a strong advocate and supporter for the innovation and community gathering nature of the Minneapolis Idea eXchange. He has a passion for putting a spotlight on innovation and solving challenges within our community. Over the past year Sweeney has provided a voice of directional leadership for MiX and is always willing to volunteer and help with upcoming MiX initiatives. This year, Sweeney and Brave New Workshop hosted MiX at their comedy theater and led insight and improvisational exercises to initiate conversation and develop ideas related to MiX’s topic of design thinking within the community.

U.S. Bank Stadium opened in July 2016. Securing the Minnesota Vikings’ new home in downtown Minneapolis was one of the 10 initiatives that the 2025 Plan laid out in 2010, and this goal became a reality when the gates opened this year. The Minneapolis Downtown Council will recognize the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Minnesota Vikings, Mortenson Construction and U.S. Bank for their collaborative efforts in making this stadium a reality. Not only did it secure a venue that will host both major and daily events, but it also ushered in a wave of development in the East Town area that includes new office space, residential properties, greening, transportation amenities and overall neighborhood vibrancy.

This year’s Minneapolis Downtown Council Gala will include networking, dinner, updates on the 2025 Plan and musical entertainment. Registration is available through October 13 by visiting

Following the event, photos and logos will be available at For more information on the Minneapolis Downtown Council Gala featuring the 2025 Plan Leadership Awards, follow @MplsDowntown on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or use the hashtag #2025Plan.

About the Minneapolis Downtown Council:

Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic central business associations in the nation, the Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The MDC’s collaborative developments of Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan was designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals. For more information, please visit

About the 2025 Plan: 

The Downtown 2025 Plan is a vehicle to help leaders and citizens build on Downtown’s assets and guide its development in ways that reflect the community’s aspirations for a Downtown Minneapolis that is thriving, livable, green, connected and welcoming in the decades ahead. This includes initiatives to double downtown’s residential population, transform Nicollet Mall into a must-see destination, implement a Gateway area and other green elements throughout downtown, create a compelling and walkable environment around the clock, lead the nation in transportation options, end street homelessness, forge connections with the University of Minnesota and more. The 2025 Plan is a Minneapolis Downtown Council initiative established in 2010.


Celebrating the Reconnecting of Franklin Avenue this Saturday, October 15

Celebrating the reconnecting of Franklin Avenue

WHAT:  Bridging our communities – Reconnecting Franklin Avenue, a Franklin Avenue bridge community celebration.

WHEN:  Saturday, October 15, 10:00am to Noon

WHERE:  West end of the Franklin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis

ACTIVITIES:  Starting at 10:30am, there will be speeches emceed by Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

Celebratory remarks will include Minnesota Department of Transportation, members of the state Legislature, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and Prospect Park and Seward neighborhoods.               

This will be followed by a ceremonial bike ride/pedestrian walk on the bridge to celebrate the new bridge deck’s separated on-road bike lanes, walkways and overlook nooks.

This event is open to the public.

RSVP: Contact Colin Cox at 612-596-7426 or This will ensure that you have the proper access to parking and to the event.


The Skyway Senior Center at Risk of Closing

Article and photos by Claudia Kittock

In my  ‘new’ life, I go to many meetings every week, meeting fascinating people from all over our city that do important work.  I am in awe of the work they do, and listen intently so that I can learn what I don’t know and what I need to know. Several months ago, in a span of a few weeks, at least one person in each meeting told me I had to meet Sara Goodnough and visit the Skyway Senior Center.  I decided not to question, but rather to just follow the directives.  Why was I meeting Sara?  What was I supposed to do after we met?  I didn’t have answers to those questions, but I set up a meeting out of respect for the cumulative wisdom of the people who told me to ‘go’! I’m glad I did.

Have you ever wandered around the skyways?  If you have, and have walked past Target, keep walking and around two more corners, you will find the Skyway Senior Center.  It is a charming place, usually populated with a mix of senior citizens, chatting, reading newspapers, using the computers, and just hanging out.

When I found it, I met Mary Louise.  She is 69 years old, a retired attorney who was married for 47 years to a man she calls “the one true love of my life”. They battled cancer together for 12 years, and when he died, she was confident she had prepared as best she could. What she couldn’t have planned for was the alone-ness.  A life lived with a partner had suddenly become a life she didn’t recognize. Mary Louise tried many things to help with the feelings of being alone, and none seemed to help, until she discovered the Senior Center.

The Center is for people age 50 and over. Visitors tend to live alone, and/or are low income, some of whom are experiencing homelessness. On any given day, the visitors represent every demographic and social strata.  Having a place to go, knowing other people will be there can have social and health benefits. There are 74 visitors a day on average, and in a year that can total well over 18,000 visits.

Mary Louise began coming in to have a cup of coffee.  As she talked with others there, she found discussions with other people who had lost a spouse and also were grappling with the feelings and the sadness.  She didn’t have to explain what she was feeling. Stopping in for a cup of coffee became a daily occurrence, and soon she was helping around the center. Mary Louise segued into volunteering there and is now an integral part of the center.

In addition to being a ‘hang out’ for seniors, the center offers over 600 structured activities and programs in a year, which averages to 2 ½ activities every day. During October of 2016, some of these activities include exercise classes, yoga classes, and seminars in planning health care in retirement, etc.

The Skyway Senior Center was founded in 2001 by a partnership of the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Senior Citizen Advisory Committee to the Mayor and City Council, and Ryan Companies with support from the University of St. Thomas and Target Corporation.  In 2010, The City of Minneapolis and UCare established a partnership with financial support from UCare.  Augustana Care became a partial sponsor in 2015 through June, 2016.  The Minneapolis Health Department provides oversight for the Center. In addition, the Friends of the Skyway Senior Center, an incorporated 501(c) (3) organization was established in 2003 to help support the Center.

While all of this is interesting, it is also cause for great concern. The future of the Skyway Senior Center is unknown at the time. The Friends of the Skyway Senior Center have generously been supporting the Center since April in absence of a sponsor and their funding will run out the end of this calendar year. Without financial support they will close. Help is needed, and quickly.

The Friends asks for your support with a generous contribution to their annual fundraising appeal so that the Center can continue into 2017 while more sustainable funding is sought. The Friends are a 501(c)(3)organization and gifts are tax-deductible. Supporters can contribute to the Friends of the Skyway Senior Center at:

This Center is important to so many people and it will not stay open without your help.  Please contribute!

Claudia can be reached at