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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.


The Siren Has Been Silenced

At 1:00 pm yesterday, the first Wednesday of the month, the siren was silent.  Great news for the neighborhood, and the family with the 5 month old baby living right next to it.

See update from original article below:


Park Vista Condos Inch Closer to Approval

Last week the Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Commission recommended the City Council approve an appeal by Shamrock Development to increase to number of parking spaces allowed at the proposed Park Vista condo development across from Gold Medal Park in the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis.

At its Sept. 7 meeting, the planning commission approved the conditional-use permit for the Park Vista project. On the parking issue, the planning commission approved 1.8 parking spaces per residential unit. The planning commission also added the condition that Stanton provide a shared car, such as HourCar, at the project.

Stanton appealed, making a case for 1.85 spaces per residential unit and protesting the shared-car requirement. Stanton's number includes the 10 visitor parking spaces - seven more than are required by the city. Stanton is proposing underground parking, not a surface parking lot.

From an article by Dolan Media

The appeal goes before the full council at its meeting on Friday November 5, 2010.


Replaced Stretch of West River Parkway Now Completely Open 

We've seen a noticeable reduction in traffic on South 2nd Street since West River Road between 11th Avenue South and Portland Avenue recently opened to through traffic from end to end.


2010 Nice Ride Season Ends at 10pm, Sunday, November 7th

According to the Nice Ride Minnesota website, the inaugural Nice Ride season comes to a close at 10pm on Sunday, November 7th, when Daylight Savings Time ends. They will begin removing equipment from the street on November 8th, and all bicycles and stations will be placed in storage for the winter. 

Nice Ride will return to service in April of 2011.


Mill City Farmers Market and Mill City Times Announce Partnership

Mill City Farmers Market and Mill City Times announced a partnership today aimed at strengthening the ties between local businesses, local sustainable organic agriculture, and building community engagement.

As part of this effort, Mill City Times has become a sponsor of the popular farmers market, located in the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis.

"We are thrilled to have Mill City Times as a new partner of the Mill City Farmers Market! We share a commitment to engaging our community and spreading the word about our wonderful Mill District neighborhood and look forward to working together," said Marjorie Hegstrom, Executive Director of the Mill City Farmers Market.

Read the full press release...


Could this Siren be in a Worse Location?

This emergency siren sits a few feet from the Bidgewater Lofts in the Mill Distrcit of Minneapolis, near the corner of Washington Ave S. and 10th Ave. S.  A 5 month old baby lives in the condo directly to the left of the one pictured below.

WARNING - the siren is really loud, be prepared for it at the start of the video below.

Same siren the following month.

The Bridgewater is not the only building affected, as you can see below.     


The first video has had a large number of views, and comments.  The consensus is it needs to be moved.  Here's a sampling of the comments on YouTube:

"The siren really needs to be moved. I couldn't stand living right next to it like that."

"Is the rotator broken? If so, feel lucky. If the horn rotated, or broke when pointing at you, it would be even louder. I agree the placement is very bad, they should have mounted it higher."

"It sounds like you have a pretty good attitude about it being there despite the fact that it was placed so poorly. Good luck with getting it moved to a better spot. They're important devices so have but this is a good example of a poor installation plot."

"I'm just glad they finally disabled the rotator on it so it won't point back around at you guys! There used to be a much smaller building there when the siren was installed, so I can see why it is where it is, but I agree that they should've moved it when that complex was built. On a side note, it is neat to see one from that point of view!"

"Ah, just let it rotate! If the neighbors don't like it, they can just move!

Seriously though, that city really needs to move that siren. The people a mile away that are on the back side of it won't be able to hear it very well during a tornado warning, because it doesn't rotate."

"Not to be rude but thats not the Loudest Siren in the World. out door sirens are loud up close because the sound travels 200 Feet. the siren is a Federal Signal 2001-SRNB.

Nice video though!

I do agree with you about the sirens location. They should put it on the stadiums property."

"geez i bet 500 ppl are upset"

We contacted the office of City Council member Lisa Goodman 3 weeks ago for help on who to speak to regarding moving the siren.  We are still waiting for a response.


Kathy and Beth - A Sisters Success Story

This is the first in an ongoing series of personal health and fitness success stories, brought to us by Mill City Times Fitness Expert, Andrea Austin.

I met Kathy and Beth Friday night after their RealRyder spin class led by Andrea at 501SP1N.  They shared their weight loss journeys and healthy lifestyle transformations:

Kathy began working with Andrea 2 years ago.  Below, she shows a "Before" picture, taken prior to her 45 pound weight loss.

Beth has lost an amazing 140 pounds since March 2009 (Yes - that's an entire person in 18 months!).  Below, she displays her "Before" picture. 

 Andrea's leadership, combined with the girls' commitment and hard work, yielded these incredible results!  

The 5pm Friday Happy Hour RealRyder spin class at 501SP1N helps Kathy and Beth stay fit.  Email Andrea if you'd like to try a complimentary class, or if you have a fitness or nutrition question.


Another Unique Show at MacPhail

We are hooked on the MacPhail Center for Music

Saturday night we attended our third event in the beautiful Antonello Hall - "Jekyll and Hyde Come Alive".  As the 1920 silent film played, a combination of MacPhail instructors and local musicians provided live music and sound effects to accentuate the scenes. It was a treat to see a classic silent movie on the big screen, and combined with the live music - Wow!

Below, Paul Babcock greeted the audience and provided a bit of background.   The huge screen assured everyone had a clear view.


The three events we've attended so far have been fun, and each were very different genres.   As Mill District residents, we are lucky to have this cool source of entertainment within a few blocks walk.


This Weekend in Mill City / October 29-31

Brace yourself for a spooky weekend in the Mill City.  Events this weekend in and around the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis:

Friday, October 29

Dar Williams at the Guthrie Theater

The Soap Factory's Haunted Basement Open Thursday-Sunday throughout October

Jeff Arundel CD Release at Aster Cafe

MacPhail Spotlight Series: Jekyll and Hyde Come Alive

Live Music at the 501 Club

Saturday, October 30

The Nearly Departed at the Minneapolis Central Library

Spooky Stories, Creepy Creations: A Halloween Writing and Bookmaking Adventure at the Loft

OLLUWEEN PARTY at Ollu Dogwash

Anime Showcase at the Minneapolis Central Library

39 Steps opens at the Guthrie

Dar Williams at the Guthrie Theater

MacPhail Spotlight Series: Jekyll and Hyde Come Alive

Live Music at the 501 Club

Weekend Brunch


Brunch at Spoonriver

Reservations recommended

10:00am - 2:00pm

See the menu


Brunch at Spill the Wine
1101 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415

brunch buffet 10am- 2pm Sunday
$12/person (kids 3 and under eat free, 4-12 years are 1/2 price!)

includes: eggs, bacon, french toast, hash browns, fresh salad and fruit, pastries, build your own omlette bar and more...

featuring absolut bloody bar for $5.

also offering fair trade coffee and full bar.

Saturday & Sunday

501 Club Hash House Brunch


Best Video Ever of Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

A dance / music video shot on the Stone Arch Bridge.

The Stone Arch Bridge is located in the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis.


Pic of Planned American Academy of Neurology HQ Building

An artists rendering.  It will be interesting to see how the actual building compares when complete in Spring of 2012.

Across from the Guthrie Theater in the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis.


Tonight at the Guthrie - Cadence Hip Hop Series

Time: 7:30pm

Location: Dowling Studio at the Guthrie

Featuring P.O.S. with Big Zach from Kanser, hosted by Dessa from Doomtree

The letters of the P.O.S acronym remain the same today, but the meaning constantly changes. Promise of Skill. Product of Society. Pissed Off Stef. Everyday is different and each definition has a purpose. P.O.S., a rapper/producer that also fronts a punk band, an artist influenced by Minor Threat as much as Dr. Dre, a musician that is self-taught to play guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and can still ride a skateboard. From seventies funk to eighties hardcore to nineties rap, P.O.S has the unique ability to incorporate all his influences into a cohesive style without being calculated or contrived. Hosted and created by Dessa of Doomtree, the Cadence Hip Hop Series will invite P.O.S. with special guest Big Zach from Kanser.

Order Tickets


Pet Park Safety Tips - An Ongoing Series from Curtis L. Sanford, DVM

Our neighborhood is a haven for dog owners, and we thought it would be beneficial to have an ongoing series specifically for them.  This is the third installment of Pet Park Safety Tips from Curtis L. Sanford, DVM.

All pet companions should be vaccinated for the following contagious diseases by a veterinarian at the recommended intervals: The Distemper Combination Vaccination (DHPPL), Bordetella (kennel cough), and Rabies. Vaccination status should be available for review within 24 hours in case of a fight.

All pet companions should be heartworm tested annually and placed on a heartworm preventive product (most products contain a heartworm and intestinal parasite preventive product) year round to prevent the spread of intestinal parasites.

Dr. Sanford is a Veterinarian and Owner/Founder of Minneapolis Veterinary Hospital in the Mill District.   He can be contacted at 612-746-0300 or


Tonight at Mill City Museum - The Minneapolis Horror: Tales from the Night Shift 

Times: 6:30pm, 7:00pm, and 7:30pm

Location: Mill City Museum

Visit the Washburn A Mill at night as costumed actors dramatize the dangers of working the night shift and the many horrific disasters that have befallen the mill over the years. Hear accounts of the deadly 1878 mill explosion and the dangerous man-lift elevator, and enjoy dramatic nighttime views of the Ruin Courtyard and the Minneapolis Riverfront from the ninth-floor Observation Deck.

The program takes its title from the headline of an 1878 American Miller magazine story that read, ”The Minneapolis Horror: Destruction, Devastation and Death.” The story described the disastrous flour dust explosion on the evening of May 2, 1878, that destroyed the Washburn A Mill and killed 18 workers.

Fee: $14 adults, $12 seniors and college students, $10 children and MHS members.

Reservations required, please call 612-341-7555.


4th Avenue Playground Update

We hadn't revisited the 4th Avenue Playground site since our September 20 posting, but a tip from our neighbor Rachel sent us back there.  She wasn't kidding - it's really taking shape!

The detail put into this project is incredible, and the setting on the river is absolutely beautiful.


Why We Love Mill City Market Grocery and Deli

Since opening earlier this year, Mill City Market Grocery and Deli (1020 Washington Avenue South) has evolved into a well-stocked neighborhood grocery with an expanding list of products.  Rick and his staff are friendly and accommodating, and the store is always clean and tidy.  

The daily hot entrees and soups are consistently delicious, and the rotisserie chicken is a great instant dinner.  If you like to cook from scratch, there are plenty of options for that too.

It's baking season for me, and thankfully all the ingredients I use are at Mill City Market - from nutmeg to almond extract to cocoa powder.  And with the Mill City Farmers Market closed for the season, it's nice to be able to pop in before work for a few pieces of fresh fruit or veggies.

These are just a few reasons why we love having Mill City Market Grocery and Deli in our neighborhood. We hope anyone who hasn't discovered them yet will do so soon.  They are a true asset to the community.

Above, a Boar's Head representative was at the store October 23 providing samples of their products stocked at Mill City Market Grocery and Deli.


First Resident Moves Into Mill District City Apartments October 25

The Mill District City Apartments onsite sales office opened October 22.  We spoke with leasing agent Dan on Friday evening, and he gave us an update on their fast moving progress. 

The first residents are taking occupancy today, October 25.  A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for November 11, and the fitness center and Living Wall are slated for completion mid-November.

Above, a view of the main entry on Portland Avenue.  The sales office is to the right, directly under the Mill District City Apartments signage. (If you look real close, you can see Dan sitting at his desk.)

New details have been appearing daily on the 2nd Street South side.  Above, the rusted metal trim ties in with the history of the neighborhood.   First floor residents have private entries. 

Above, signage on the corner of Portland and Washington went up last week.  Below, the Living Wall is under construction.  It receives light through a wall of windows overlooking the courtyard.

Mill District City Apartments adheres to the National Association of Home Building "NAHB Green Building Standard".  Below, natural finishings in the lobby are part of the developers commitment to green construction.  Read more on this topic. 



The Plank Road is No More

Our last update on the Plank Road Replacement Project was posted October 11, at which time there was one section of planks yet to be replaced with cement.  

The below pictures were taken while we were out for a stroll this past Friday night.  Although all the planks have now been replaced with cement, the road was not yet open on the Portland side.

  According to an August Star Tribune article, the replacement project was scheduled for completion this October.


American Academy of Neurology HQ Project Clears Final Hurdles

The Minneapolis City Council approved the financing and land sale on Friday, the final steps needed for the global headquarters to be built in the city's Mill District, across the street from the Guthrie Theater.  When completed, 125+ news jobs will move to the neighborhood.  Construction on the 5 story building is slated to begin in early 2011, completed and ready for occupancy in Spring of 2012.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest professional association of neuroscience professionals and neurologists, with more than 22,500 members.


Free Saturday Samplings at Mill City Market Grocery & Deli

Visit the Mill City Market Grocery & Deli on Saturday between 10a & 2p and enjoy free samples of fruits, vegatables, cheeses, dips and salsa.

Mill City Market is located at 1020 Washington Ave S.

View the flyer...