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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.


Above the Falls Sports - Fun and Exercise on the Mississippi

I met Bob Schmitz of Above the Falls Sports at the Mill City Farmers Market this morning.  From May through October they offer kayaking, canoeing and open water rowing on the Mississippi River.

Safety and skill development are key aspects of this fully insured operation.   Before allowed to venture out solo, users are qualified with an initial instruction session.  Upon completion, users receive an ATFS certificate, giving them access to boats without further instruction.

Guided Tours range from 1 hour (the “Lunch Break”) to full day “Marathon Tours”.   Corporate outings and a Twilight Supper Cruise are also offered.  Self-equipped paddlers receive a 15% discount off the price of their trip.

Above the Falls Sports promotes the use of the river accessed from downtown Minneapolis.   River access is within walking distance from their shop.  Check out this unique urban adventure!


Signs of Mill City

From Grumpy's



McKnight Foundation Names 2010 Awards Winners

One of the award winners, Jerry Fleischaker of Minneapolis.

The McKnight Foundation, located in the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis, announced the 2010 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service recipients yesterday.  The awards are described in a press release on August 25, 2010:

The $10,000 awards honor Minnesota residents who give their time to improve the lives of people in their communities. This year's recipients include a restorative justice program provider who serves youth offenders; a street outreach advocate for the homeless; a provider of stable, dignified housing to low-income families; a childcare provider offering nurturing care to infants and toddlers in need; a coordinator of a biking program for victims of torture; and a community builder with more than 30 years of direct service engagement.

The Star Tribune did a profile on Jerry Fleischaker here.

View the press release here...


Plans for the 35W Remembrance Garden to be Announced Soon

The 35W Remembrance Garden will honor the 13 dead and 145 injured as a result of the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse.

According to an August 25 article in the Star Tribune, more funding than expected in now available for the memorial thanks to a recently announced $1.5 million contribution from a legal settlement. The donation comes as part of the $52.4 million settlement reached to settle claims from the collapse.

Final plans could be presented to the public in as few as three weeks, and once families sign off the work can begin.

The proposed site is 11th Avenue South at West River Road:

View Larger Map



Check Out What's Happening in Our Neighborhood!

We added several Events to the Events  section today.  Be sure to check back often to see what's coming up.  If you know of a local event that isn't listed, please let us know and we'll get it posted. Thanks!


Mill District City Apartments Still On Track for October Opening

According to an article in the August 16-29 Downtown Journal the new building is on schedule:

Just five months after breaking ground at the corner of Portland and Washington avenues, Mill District City Apartments will have models ready by the end of September, and tenants will be able to move in by the end of October, according to Jonathan Holtzman, CEO of Village Green, the Michigan-based company responsible for the $25 million, 175-unit project.

We've reviewed the developers website in detail, and it looks to be a great addition to the Mill District community.


In an earlier post we provided a link to information on the soon to open Mill District City Apartments.



The Minnesota Table: Recipes for Savoring Local Food Throughout the Year

On a recent trip to the Mill City Farmers Market, we met Shelley Holl and B.J. Carpenter, creators of The Minnesota Table: Recipes for Savoring Local Food Throughout the Year.

The Minnesota Table: Recipes for Savoring Local Food throughout the Year is a year-round companion for those who want to explore Minnesota-grown and -produced foods. Beginning with asparagus sprouts in early spring and following the calendar year, Shelley Holl and B. J. Carpenter reflect on what they discovered in their travels across the state, show the foods they made, photographed and ate, give suggestions for monthly menus, and present recipes and tips for foods of the season while sharing from the best growers, producers and purveyors in Minnesota. Meet gardening nuns and artisan farmers who breathe color and warmth into the argument for sustainable agriculture; try new twists on classic and regional recipes that take the pure flavors of fresh, local ingredients to new heights; hunt morels, pick blueberries, winnow wild rice and come nose-to-nose with yaks, elk and bison in this beautifully illustrated collection of travel stories, recipes and menu ideas that follow Minnesota’s growing season.

This book would make a great edition to anyone's culinary library, a thoughtful housewarming gift, etc.

Learn more.


Sweet Corn Ice Cream?  YES!

During our weekly visit to the Mill City Farmers Market this morning, I tried the Sweet Corn Ice Cream from Sonny's cart.  WOW - it was incredible!  If you love super sweet corn and the smoothest of ice creams - you have to try it.

Sonny's has been creating award winning ice cream for more than 65 years at the corner of 34th & Lyndale.  Learn more about them at


35W bridge debris to be moved

According to an August 19 Star Tribune article, the twisted steel from the fatal August 2007 35W bridge collapse will soon be cleared from park land and relocated to storage in Afton.

The girders have rested on Bohemian Flats along the Mississippi River's west bank since shortly after the collapse.  MnDOT is working out a plan for how to haul the hunks of steel.

Keeping the mangled steel on the 7-acre park parcel has cost the park system annual revenue of about $16,000 from paid parking, and another $20,000 annually that a tour boat company would have paid to operate from there.

See the full story.



Plan to ease Washington Avenue rush hour traffic

According to an August 20 Star Tribune article, Minneapolis and Hennepin County want to construct what would be the first new downtown freeway link in many years, in the hope of unclogging Washington Avenue and other feeder streets near 35W.

See the full story.



Greening the Riverfront Series - Washburn A Mill Tour

"Greening the Riverfront" is a series of programs exploring our relationship with nature, past, present and future.  One of the programs featured three Tuesday night tours. The first two took place in July (Pillsbury A Mill and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory), and the third was August 17 at the Washburn A Mill.

During the tour, we visited the historic ruin of the Washburn A Mill, which is now home to Mill City Museum, the Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle architectural firm, the McKnight Foundation, Mill City Farmers Market and Brighton Development.

The tour was led by Tom Meyer of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, the firm that designed the building.  Tom explained the challenges of preserving the 130-year-old building and ruins, discussed the materials used and showed us how the outside areas have been reinforced to withstand further damage from Minnesota weather.

Ron Kroese, Environmental Program Director for the McKnight Foundation, talked about the foundation’s work in the sustainability of the Mississippi River.

We also met Marjorie Hegstrom, Director of the Mill City Farmers Market, and a representative from Eureka Recycling, and learned how they work together on a composting program.  This is one of the many sustainability initiatives for the building.

There are more tours to come this Fall - we'll keep you posted!


Work set to begin on replacing wooden plank road along Mill Ruins Park

According to an article in the Star Tribune  the replacement project is scheduled to begin in August and be completed in October. 

The car lanes will be replaced with concrete, while the sidewalks and bike path will retain the oak planks.

The plank road was originally intended to reflect the district's history, but inadvertently became a driving hazard, expensive to maintain and a noise nuisance for residents along that section of road. 



Mill City welcomes Spun, Inc.

We were first introduced to Dawn Doll at the August 4 National Night Out party, where she explained the concept of Spun, Inc., and demonstrated the equipment she uses in her spin classes.

For more info

Welcome to the neighborhood, Dawn!



Mill City Block Party for National Night Out, August 3rd


With special support from Mill City Commons, our 2010 Block Party included residents of The Bridgewater, Humbolt Lofts, Metropolitan Lofts, North Star Lofts, Park Avenue Lofts, St. Anthony Mills Apartments, Stone Arch Lofts, Washburn Lofts, The Whitney and Zenith Condominiums.  Local merchants, including Mill City Market and Deli, CorAzoN and City Gardens Flower Mill, provided prizes. 

Nichola Miller entertained the crowd with her beautiful vocals.

The gang from The Bridgewater served up sweet corn. 

Dawn Doll intruduced everyone to her new fitness business, Spun Inc., which shares a space with 501FIT.


2010 Aquatennial - Target Festivities and Fireworks

A huge crowd gathered from Mill Ruins Park to the 3rd Avenue Bridge to enjoy the music, food and fireworks that marked the close of the 2010 Aquatennial.


Nice Ride Minnesota

The Nice Ride Minnesota program has 65 bike share stations - and counting.  It is an easy, accessible option for both downtown residents and visitors who'd like to take a spin around our neighborhood (or the entire 43 miles of dedicated bicycle lanes and over 80 miles of off-street bicycle paths in Minneapolis). 

Learn all about.



Historical Walking Tours

Railroad History Tour - Guided tour of railroad landmarks, including the Stone Arch Bridge, Milwaukee Road Depot and Minneapolis Eastern Railway engine house and trestle.

Minneapolis Riverfront Walking Tours - Walk the Minneapolis riverfront and learn about its dramatic past and bright future.

Historic Main Street Walking Tour - A guided stroll along Main Street in St. Anthony.  Learn about life in the village, changes along Main Street throughout the years, and the area landmarks. Tour begins and ends at Pracna.

Engineering the Falls: Walking Tour by History Player William De La Barre - Visit the Minneapolis Riverfront, the west side milling district and the Stone Arch Bridge, and hear about the many ways the falls has changed over the years.

Women's Work: Walking Tour with History Player Eva Valesh - A costumed actor portraying labor writer Eva Valesh will lead a walking tour, highlighting the factories whose working conditions were exposed by Valesh in a series of articles in 1888 and 1889. This tour also examines the jobs available to women in the 19th and early 20th century, and some of the key events in women's labor history in Minneapolis.

Reservations required, call 612-341-7555




Greening the Riverfront Series - St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

"Greening the Riverfront" is a series of programs exploring our relationship with nature, past, present and future.  One program featured three Tuesday night tours - the second one was:

July 20: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

The U of M's St. Anthony Falls Laboratory on Hennepin Island is a unique research facility developing solutions to problems related to the environment, renewable energy and health.  During our tour we learned how this research is being applied around the world, and were allowed to view some of the current projects up close.  

Learn more at



New Neighbors - Mill District City Apartments


Located at 225 Portland Avenue, Mill District City Apartments is now pre-leasing for fall 2010 occupancy.  Take a video tour.


Mill City Live Outdoor Concerts (July and August)

One of the many cool things to do at the Mill City Museum is enjoy an outdoor concert.  This summer (July and August) there are seven Thursday night concerts, with a different genre each night.  The $5 entry fee is a bargain!