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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.


Washington Avenue Closes This Weekend (East Bank and Stadium Village Area)

In case you have plans to visit the East Bank / Stadium Village areas this weekend (or use an MTC route that passes through this area) please read the following Light Rail construction update:

A general overview of construction for the East Bank and Stadium Village is now available via this link. This four page document is an outline only created to give those visiting the area a general idea of how to get to Stadium Village and East Bank and travel within the area. Weekly construction updates will continue to be sent out every Friday with details on closures and detours.
Please pass this information along to ensure people are prepared for the closure of Washington Avenue from Pleasant Street to Oak Street. This major road closure will occur this weekend and affect bus routes starting on Saturday.

Saturday, May 14th
Metro Transit bus detours begin for East Bank and West Bank. Bus stops on Washington Avenue are relocated to 4th Street or University Avenue for construction. Buses will return to Washington Avenue once the majority of construction is complete in 2-3 years. Watch for bus stop improvements at these locations; University & Pleasant, University & 17th, University & 19th, 4th & 17th, and Washington & 19th. For full information on bus stop changes and bus detours, go to or call the Transit Information Center at (612) 373-3333 for the most current information.

12:00 AM Monday, May 16th
I-35W Ramp: Westbound 3rd Street to south I-35W, east HWY 55, west I-94 closes.
Between Downtown Minneapolis and East Bank of Campus: Washington Avenue/3rd & 4th Street closes.
West Bank: North Cedar Avenue ramps closing, all traffic detoured to south ramps.
East Bank: Washington Avenue from Pleasant Street to Oak Street closes.
University of Minnesota Campus Connector and Campus Circulato Bus detours begin; no stops on Washington.


Breaking News - National Trust for Historic Preservation Comes Out Against Crown Hydro, Issues Statement in Opposition to S.F. 1191 - Mill City Times Exclusive

Just in, The National Trust for Historic Preservation has taken a formal position opposing the Crown Hydro project and asked key members of the Minnesota State Legislature to drop their support of the bills moving through both houses of State government.

In a statement issued within the last hour, Christina Morris, Minnesota Program Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation cites several fundemental flaws with the proposed project, and more importantly, the manner in which the developers of the project have tried to circumvent safegaurds for the protection of our cultural heritage.

The statement comes as the Park Board is negotiating under duress the very legislation being opposed.

The Park Board meets to vote on this matter on Wednesday, May 18 at 5:00 PM at Minneapolis Park Board headquarters located at 2117 W. Broadway.  The public is encouraged to attend this pivotal meeting.

View the entire statement... 


Here's Your Chance to Win Sanctuary's Spring Celebration Package!

Sanctuary the restaurant, 903 Washington Avenue South, is currently offering a great opportunity to win a dinner, lodging and a show package for Friday, May 20.  Click here for details on how to win.

This Spring Celebration package includes dinner for two at Sanctuary ($80 gift card), two tickets to Avenue Q at the Mixed Blood Theater, one night stay at the Holiday Inn Metrodome and a one-year subscription to Exploring TOSCA.

In addition to their website, your can follow Sanctuary on Twitter and Facebook.


35W Bridge Memorial Construction Update [Video]

The 35W Bridge Memorial is under construction across West River Parkway from Gold Medal Park in the Mill District of Minneapolis.  Shot this morning.


MacPhail Center for Music Announces 2011 Summer Camp Schedule

MacPhail Center for Music has 46 summer camp offerings for students 3 years to adult.  These camps are held at their three locations, as well as at parks, museums and even the Minnesota Zoo.    

Early Childhood Music classes like "Pop, Sizzle, Bang" are a great way to discover the fun of music. MacPhail's camps for school aged kids - from Allegro Orchestra Camp to Rock Week, provide high-quality experiences to deepen musical skills over the summer. Unique ensemble opportunities are available in through piano camps, jazz camp and Suzuki Institute for piano, flute and guitar. 

MacPhail's chamber music camps for adults are a fun, low-key, way to make music and socialize with others with similar musical interests.

Click here for a full list of summer camps.


501SP1N Featured on National RealRyder Website

Dawn Doll, founder of 501SP1N, and her client were recently featured on  501SP1N is located at 501 Washington Avenue South, and shares space with 501F1T.


From now until May 31, 501SP1N is offering a Summer Special (June 1 to August 31) of Unlimited Cycling for only $125. This special is for RealRyder and Krankcycle classes only. Class Schedule.


Click here to request additional info.


Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative Update

The Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative launched with an intensive four-day, seven-meeting spree, April 27-30, featuring the MR|DI design team TLS/KVA presenting their RiverFIRST proposal. These meetings were the first in a series of three multi-day information exchange sessions, running April - July, during which the public and Steering, Technical and Advisory committee members are invited to participate in the MR|DI's "iterative design process." (And what is that, exactly? See this blog post.)

The next public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, 2117 West River Road.


Voices of Experience Spring Concert 2011 at MacPhail Center for Music

From Brahms to Berlin to the Beatles - Voices of Experience is a choir for adults ages 55 and older, directed by Dr. Mary Kay Geston, associate professor of music at Northwestern College. The choir is a collaboration of MacPhail Center for Music and The Minnesota Chorale.


May 11, 1858 - Minnesota Joins the Union

On this day in 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state admitted into the Union. Then-President James Buchanan had received Minnesota’s application for statehood in January, but it became temporarily entangled with the issue of statehood for Kansas, a political hot potato because of the expansion of slavery.

Known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota is the northern terminus of traffic on the Mississippi River and the westernmost point of an inland waterway, flowing through the Great Lakes and, with the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic. The state’s name comes from a Dakota word for “sky-tinted water.”

The French claimed the region from the mid-1600s to the mid-1700s, developing a fur trade, but they ceded the lands east of the Mississippi to Britain. The United States acquired part of the area from the British under the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the rest from the French under the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

U.S. administration of the region began with passage of the Northwest Ordinance by the Continental Congress in 1787. The ordinance sets out the requirements for a territory to become a state.

Congress split the Minnesota Territory from the Iowa Territory in 1849. Between 1850 and 1857, Minnesota’s population rose from about 6,000 to more than 150,000, facilitating its successful application for statehood. As a state with much land suitable for homesteading, Minnesota proved particularly attractive to immigrants from Norway, Sweden and Finland.

From the 1820s on, Fort Snelling, where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet, has protected the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

During World War II, the War Department’s Military Intelligence Service Language School was at the fort. Some 300,000 soldiers were taught Japanese there.

It is now a national historic landmark.



The Benefits of Being a Mill City Commons Member - An Ongoing Series

Earlier this year Dave and I became members of Mill City Commons.  We joined for a number of reasons, including the interesting member-only events, meeting fascinating people, and having more of a hands on role in helping with various fundraising activities. 

Here are some examples of exclusive MCC May events:

The Minnesota Genealogical Society will host a class on how to research family history through the use of their library.  Members will have access to over 50,000 items including books, microfilm, microfiche, journals and paper family history records.

A private wine tasting hosted by Sorella Wine & Spirits.  Wine buyer Darrin Minehan led a guided tour of Spains most important wine region, and special pricing on a variety of Spanish wines was available.

MCC at Sorella

MCC members Scott Parkin and Amy Sperling hosted a fabulous menu sampling at the Riverfront's newest restaurant, Masu Sushi & Robata:

On the 16th, MCC members will join I Wish You Love playwright, Dominic Taylor, for an intimate and informal dialogue about the play.  Mr. Taylor will provide context for the play that runs now through May 22 at Penumbra. Education Director Sarah Bellamy has scheduled "Bookends" on the Mondays before and after the May 19 performance exclusively for MCC.

Finally, a Guthrie play reading of God of Carnage.  Play readings are hosted by a member of the Guthrie staff or an Artist affiliated with the play.  Participants are assigned parts for reading and may rotate parts as necessary.

To learn more about Mill City Commons, please visit the website, or contact Linnea at 612-455-3329 or


New at St. Anthony Main: Real Ghost Tours!

There's always something new going on around here.  We popped into the Segway Tours office (125 Main Street SE) this past weekend to check on tour times, and found a new activity:  Real Ghost Tours.  

Bill Neuenschwander, who also leads Segway Tours, filled me in on the details.  Real Ghost Tours is not a gory haunted house experience - it's a history-packed 90 minute tour during which you'll learn about (and maybe encounter the spirits of) people who shaped this area.  Visit the website and Facebook for more information.

Real Ghost Tours launched in April.  Public tours are 9:00pm Friday and Saturday nights, with a 10:30pm tour to handle overflow from the 9:30pm show.  Private tours can be arranged for groups of 15 or more.  The $25 per person fee includes parking, plus a voucher for 25% off at your choice of Pracna, Vic's or Tuggs.

During the tour you'll explore areas of the building that are otherwise off limits, using an EMF meter (a scientific instrument for measuring electromagnetic fields, and the prime sensory instrument of any ghost investigation).

Dave and I have devoted countless hours researching the history of the Mill District - and we also enjoy shows on ghosts, hauntings and the paranormal - so we can't wait to take this tour!  For reservations, call 952-888-9200.


Another Photo of New Vikings Stadium

Much better photo of the New Vikings Stadium -

Vikings Stadium


Photo of New Vikings Stadium

From the press conference, artist rendering of the proposed new Vikings Stadium.

New Vikings Stadium


Vikings Stadium Opinion from Steve Berg

From Steve Berg of MinnPost:

Recycling the Metrodome location is a better fit for the trends of the next half-century. The site leverages infrastructure investments already made, including two light rail lines, a connection to commuter rail, the state's two busiest freeways, thousands of parking spots, a grid of streets for easy traffic dispersal, a network of hotels and restaurants, and a tie-in to convention facilities.


In other words, the Dome site offers customers more options and carries greater potential for non-football events, both local and national. Its location delivers more efficiency with less impact on the environment. And it adds to a concentration of other assets that makes the metro region more competitive nationally. From a competitiveness standpoint, putting an NFL stadium in Arden Hills is a little like mixing a weak drink. When assets spread out they lose their collective punch.

Read the full article...


Central Corridor Light Rail Construction Starts in the Mill District - Mill City Times Exclusive

Construction started recently on the Central Corridor Light Rail line in the Mill District behind the Periscope building on 10th and Washington Ave. South.  The line will connect to the Metrodome/Downtown East station.





Vikings Stadium Update - Minneapolis to Announce Proposal for the Metrodome Site

From the Star Tribune:

City officials have scheduled a midafternoon news conference at the State Capitol to outline details of the proposal, which comes two weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn. The city is competing with Ramsey County, which wants to lure the Vikings to suburban Arden Hills, to partner with the team and the state on a new stadium.

The city plan, according to the source, would use sales taxes from the city's convention center for the project and also would provide money for renovation of Target Center, the home of the Minnesota Timberwolves in downtown Minneapolis. The proposal would also change the debt structure for Target Center.

No city property taxes would be used for the Vikings stadium, the source said.

Read the full article...


People Serving People Residents Featured on Kare 11

People Serving People (PSP), located at 614 South 3rd Street, provides emergency housing and community services that assist families experiencing homelessness in becoming self-sufficient and reconnected with the community. 

There are no guarantees in life, and circumstances beyond our control could put any one of us in this situation.

Kare 11 recently interviewed Joey and Tina Sletten and their children, who were residents at PSP at the time of the interview:

As you can see from the video, PSP does an incredible job of providing stability for children experiencing the trauma of homelessness.

If you would like to help, PSP has volunteer opportunities and an ongoing Donation Needs List:
• Alarm Clocks
• Blankets, Quilts, Comforters, Bedspreads
• Feminine hygiene products
• Sleeping bags
• Inflatable mattresses
• Children's books (new or gently used)
• Formula (powdered)
• Strollers
• Diapers (sizes 3 through 6)
• Wipes
• Pull Ups


New Blog Covering the Mill City Farmers Market

Today marks the launch of a new blog at Mill City Times, and a new section of the site.  Each day we'll be posting a photo, video or story on the Mill City Farmers Market from the previous Saturday.  You can find the new blog in our new, you guessed it, Blogs page.  Here you'll find link and descriptions to blogs on the Mill City Times site, and links to other blogs we like.  Enjoy!


Create a Film for the Attention-Challenged

The Ten Second Film Festival will take place at The Soap Factory directly following the fireworks at St. Anthony Main on July 4.   This free event is an outdoor screening of 100 of the most surprising, inventive, disturbing, hilarious movies you'll ever see.  

The festival, which drew nearly 4000 eager movie-goers last year, is the film festival for both the amateur and immature; the talented and the unfortunate; the virtuoso and the accidental artist. Anyone can submit a 10 second film!

Click here for instructions on submitting a film.

Film makers will be notified of acceptance by June 20th.  Accepted films will be screened on July 4 at The Soap Factory.

Need inspiration? Check out films from previous years on YouTube


Best of Fest: May 6 - 12 Encore Showings from 2011 Mpls St. Paul International Film Festival at St. Anthony Main Theatre

20 Films Get One Final Screening - giving you one last chance to see films you missed and a second chance to see your favorites!