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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.


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!




Greening the Riverfront Series - Pillsbury A Mill

"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 one was:

July 6: Pillsbury A Mill

This was a very interesting presentation. We learned about the history of the Pillsbury A Mill and surrounding structures, as well as future development plans (East Bank Mills), and how the water power tunnel systems are proposed to play a part in these plans.

See for details.


Music in the Parks 2010 Series

At the end of the Stone Arch Bridge (on the Main Street side) is Father Hennepin Bluffs Park. At 7pm on Monday and Wednesday nights from June thru August you can enjoy a variety of live music - jazz, folk, country, big band, etc.  Visit for the full list of dates, artists and genre.  It's a relaxing way to spend a few hours on a warm summer night, and the view of downtown is a wonderful bonus.  The 2010 Series kicked off on Memorial Day.  We were out for a stroll that night and walked by as the band was performing.  It was a picture-perfect scene - people of all ages sitting on blankets and folding chairs, picnic baskets, kids playing, etc.  And the music sounded great, too!


Dunn Bros - Your source for great beans


The staff at Dunn Bros' historic Freight House location (201 3rd Avenue S) not only mix up great drinks, they also know their coffee beans.  We rely on William (pictured above on the right) to keep us informed on new beans to try.  We drink a lot of coffee, and all our beans come from Dunn Bros.  The building is so cool - it's a great place to hang out with a book, the paper, to study or chat.



Tour the Guthrie!

Even if you don't have plans to see a show, it would be a shame to pass up a chance to tour the Guthrie.  We really enjoyed the 10am Saturday morning Backstage ($10 adults). It was amazing to see how the sets are created, the costume shop, etc.  But you don't have to pay to see the Guthrie - it was built for the public's enjoyment.  A ride up the escalator will take you to the Endless Bridge, which juts out 178 feet toward the Mississippi and offers incredible views.  There are unique finds at gift shop, too.



Mill City Farmers Market - a Saturday morning must.

What a perk for Mill City residents!  There's fun and funky produce every week - like the Japanese Salad Turnip, otherwise known as "Hakurei", along with regular veggie staples.  All food groups are represented - in addition to produce, there are cheeses, meat and fish, breads and grains, coffee beans and tea, sweets, and other specialty items.  Food vendors offer a number of breakfast and lunch options that you can enjoy while sitting on the Guthrie steps - take in the the weekly entertainment or just people watch.  We have connected with some great local artist there.   

If you're lucky you'll get to see the weaver from Peru - it's a real treat to watch this talented artisan practicing his craft.


Stone Arch Festival of Arts - June 19 & 20, 2010

It's been years since we visited this art festival, so we were surprised at how much it's grown.  Along with the usual jewelery, ceramics and paintings, there were a number of unique items - such as resin furniture and spun copper bonsai trees.  We ordered 3 custom size gallery wrapped pictures from Leon and Tracy of Whispering Impressions.  They do meticulous work, and the pictures turned out perfect.  We will definitely make this art festival an annual must-do.  

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