Minneapolis is a city with an impressive industrial history that has been able to rediscover itself through creative thinking. In the late 19th century its riverfront led the world in flour production with four important mill factories on the banks of the Mississippi river. When the industry moved to Buffalo, NY, in the 1930′s, the district evolved and the city was left with vacant industrial buildings until the City drew a Historic Mills District Master Plan in 1998 to regenerate its riverfront district. Since then, new residential neighborhoods have been built, the Stone Arch Bridge has become a section of the Grand Rounds Scenic Bike Ways, the Mill City Museum tells the history of flour milling, and the old Pillsbury mill factory is in the process of being redeveloped as a mixed use housing and commercial complex. In addition, new architecture such as Jean Nouvel’s Guthrie Theater, work as intelligent design assets for the new riverfront.
(Picture clockwise from top left: Guthrie Theater, “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg, Hennepin Ave. Bridge, Mill City Museum)