Friday, July 03, 2015

Mill City

I recently completed a condo- and cat-sitting gig for friends who live in what's known as the Mill City area of Minneapolis.

Located on the edge of downtown Minneapolis and on the banks of the Mississippi River, this area is part of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District.

According to Wikipedia:

Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony . . . was the only natural major waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls were replaced by a concrete overflow spillway (also called an "apron") after it partially collapsed in 1869. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, a series of locks and dams was constructed to extend navigation to points upstream.

Named after the Catholic saint Anthony of Padua, the falls is the birthplace of the former city of St. Anthony and to Minneapolis when the two cities joined in 1872 to fully use its economic power for milling operations. From 1880 to about 1930, Minneapolis was the "Flour Milling Capital of the World."

Today, the falls are defined by the locks and dams of the Upper Saint Anthony Falls, just downstream of the 3rd Avenue Bridge, and the Lower Saint Anthony Falls, just upstream of the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge. These locks were built as part of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Navigation Project. The area around the falls is designated the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and features a 1.8-mile self-guided walking trail with signs explaining the area's past.

From the rooftop patio of the building in which I was condo- and cat-sitting, one can see the Mill City Museum and Guthrie Theater on 2nd Street (above) and the new Minnesota Vikings' stadium that's still under construction a few blocks south (below).

Above: A (zoomed-in) view of downtown Minneapolis from the roof of the condo building.

Above and below: Views of Mill City Museum from the Stone Arch Bridge.

Opened in 2003 and built in the ruins of the Washburn "A" Mill next to Mill Ruins Park, Mill City Museum focuses on the founding and growth of Minneapolis, especially flour milling and the other industries that used water power from Saint Anthony Falls. The mill complex, dating from the 1870s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Above: The Guthrie Theater – June 26, 2015.

Along with numerous other landmarks across the nation – including the White House, San Francisco City Hall, Niagara Falls, One World Trade Center, the Disneyland Castle, the Empire State Building, and the nearby I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge – the Guthrie Theatre (or at least parts of it) was lit up in rainbow colors on June 26 in celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling granting civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Above: The historic Stone Arch Bridge – June 26, 2015.

A former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge is the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire length of the Mississippi River, and the second oldest next to Eads Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri.

Notes Wikipedia:

Positioned between the 3rd Avenue Bridge and the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, the Stone Arch Bridge was built in 1883 by railroad tycoon James J. Hill for his Great Northern Railway, and accessed the former passenger station located about a mile to the west, on the west bank of the river. The structure is now used as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. It is an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 as a part of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District.

Above: The afternoon light on June 26 was quite magical!

Above: Looking downstream from the Stone Arch Bridge to the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge – July 1, 2015.

The I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge is a ten-lane bridge opened on September 18, 2008 as the replacement for the I-35W Mississippi River bridge which collapsed on August 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145.

Above: Moon over Mill City – July 1, 2015.

Above: My friends Joan and George on the Stone Arch Bridge – Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

Above: Looking upstream from the Stone Arch Bridge to the upper dam of St. Anthony Falls and the 3rd Street Bridge.

Did you know that at midnight on June 9, 2015, the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock (located next to the upper dam) was permanently closed by congressional order? Specifically, it was Section 2010 of “H.R.3080 - Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014,” which was signed into law by President Obama on June 10, 2014 and was required to be implemented "Not later than one year after the date of enactment." The closure is intended to stop the spread of invasive species, namely two types of Asian carp, bighead carp and silver carp.

Above: The 3rd Street Bridge at sunset, June 26, 2015.

Above: On the Stone Arch Bridge – July 1, 2015.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Down By the River
Mississippi Adventure
River Walk
Views from a Bridge
Tragedy in Minneapolis

1 comment:

brian gerard said...

Great Post! So good to spend time with you this past week in Mill City.