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Old July 26th, 2010, 08:22 PM   #1
Jennifat
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Minneapolis Riverfront – "Imagine the Mississippi"

Over on our own local Twin Cities forum Minnescrapers.com, fellow forumer Fehler posted a link to an amazing website that illustrates several ideas for transforming the Mississippi riverfront in downtown Minneapolis into a grand historic interpretive site and world class public space with recreational and cultural attractions. www.imaginethemississippi.com

This website is simply fascinating. Among the 30 different grandiose ideas dreamed up include:

(images courtesy imaginethemississippi.com)

Restorting St. Anthony Falls to a "semi-natural state" (with a tunnel for viewing behind!):


Returning Bassett Creek to the surface along 2nd Ave.:


Converting the Upper St. Anthony Lock into a swimming pool/skating rink and freshwater aquarium:


Converting the Gold Medal grain silos into a contemporary art gallery:


Some of the ideas on the site are pretty far-fetched, but I think many are absolutely doable, especially the ones which are just improvements of what already exists. There's so much that can be done with the area! If even just one of these is implemented, I would be thrilled.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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These are all great ideas. I especially like the idea of a footpath under the waterfall. The city already covered it in concrete once, why not add more! I wonder what the cost of something like this would be and how it stacks up against the other ideas at hand.

Bassett Creek Boulevard would be neat but ultimately, it would just be a creek next to a walkway and no big deal to most. That's not to say it wouldn't be neat... I'm just saying it's not as glamorous as the other proposals. Too many people would throw trash in it and pee in it after bar close anyway.

The freshwater aquarium is neat but there's already a big freshwater aquarium and science museum in Milwaukee. The rendering looks almost identical to Pier Wisconsin come to think of it, sans swimming pool. And p.s. there's a shark in the rendering.

The Gold Medal Gallery is a sweet idea. I especially like the usage of the silos. Fireflies though... not so much. It would be super awesome for a day and then they'd all die.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #3
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Old July 26th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #4
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Lol @ the clean looking blue water in the waterfall rendering.

In real life, it looks more like something you'd find at Starbucks.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 11:59 PM   #5
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Haha, yeah. Obviously what we'd get is a spray of cola-colored garbage water hitting us in the face, but I would totally risk disease for a walk under the falls.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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Doesn't glass separate the waterfall from the tunnel? BTW, how funny is it to have a swimming pool on top of an aquarium? I think I'd have more fun watching the swimmers than the fish.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hudkina View Post
Doesn't glass separate the waterfall from the tunnel?
I'm not sure if that's what the rendering implies, but you could be right. I think it would detract from the experience though, not being able to hear the roar and feel the spray. I can totally see needing the glass as a liability issue though, with the possibility of kids/idiots trying to reach out and touch and then falling off the railing into the falls.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 02:30 AM   #8
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Very cool website. I'd love to see all of those projects come to fruition. The Mill District is one of my favorite places to visit.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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They have similiar "ideas" for the river here in Columbus.
http://www.downtowncolumbus.com/docs...eas%207-12.pdf

Nothing as cool as a waterfall/tunnel or swimmingpool/aquarium hybrid.
I like Minneapolis current Riverfront but it could be improved for sure. Like most cities could.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #10
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That site is awesome! So many great ideas for the Minneapolis riverfront. The obvious problem of coarse is how to fund these projects, but i hope some of these will actually happen. Minneapolis already has an awesome river front for the most part but these projects could really help Minneapolis become more of a destination city. What i like most about alot of these ideas is that they find a way to actually make the Mississippi into a park itself. The tunnel under the falls would be amazing, although there would still have to be some sort of spillway to protect from erosion wouldnt there? I also liked the idea of the spirit island void. Being able to walk out and be below water level in the river would be a pretty cool experience and could also be a great place to display some public art. I'll be taking a colloquium at the University of Minnesota this fall on Minneapolis' riverfront development and this site should be a great source of conversation, so thank you for sharing!
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Old July 27th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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The tunnel under the falls would be amazing, although there would still have to be some sort of spillway to protect from erosion wouldnt there?
I think the plan would be to just cover the existing apron with concrete in which they would build the tunnel, so it would of course be an artificial waterfall.

The real, original waterfall was destroyed when the first mills were built, so we'll unfortunately never be able to restore it to its natural state.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 04:03 PM   #12
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I can imagine that waterfall tunnel as the set for an on-foot chase scene in an espionage movie! Call Angelina now and see if she's free!
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Old August 9th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #13
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I'd like to see DeLasalle School moved/vacated and have the whole of Nicollet Island become an amusement park with rides ..but at the same time incorporating all of thei historic buildings and such. Could even have some gondola rides from the island to the banks of the river. If residents still wanted to live in their houses...let them but I'd venture to say that they would sell their house eventually to the commercial venture.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #14
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I agree that DeLaSalle High School should be relocated and removed from the island – I've always thought it seemed like a really inappropriate place for a school.

I like the amusement park idea! I can envision the area where the DeLaSalle parking lot currently exists transformed into an attractive public plaza that would serve as the gateway to the park and spot for vendors to set up stands. The amusement park could be built all the way from the plaza to the BNSF tracks – it would be cool if they could build some sort of observation tower right next to the tracks where people could enjoy a view of the surrounding cityscape and the Northstar trains coming in and out.

The residents on the island will never let that happen, though. People like it because it's quiet and relatively secluded. It's fun to dream, at least.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 02:04 AM   #15
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I like the waterfall walkway. They should put some benches under there though because it would be a great place to sit during the humid summer months.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #16
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Uh....sitting under a Mississippi waterfall on a hot, humid summer day, I dunno.

Days like today are already gross.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 01:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The anti-cheesehead View Post
Uh....sitting under a Mississippi waterfall on a hot, humid summer day, I dunno.

Days like today are already gross.
It would actually be pretty cooling under there I would imagine with the rushing water. Fountains can cool people too. I can recall being in Washington D.C. on very humid summer day (which is practically all of them) and feeling a bit cooled off at the WWII memorial.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mplsuptown View Post
I'd like to see DeLasalle School moved/vacated and have the whole of Nicollet Island become an amusement park with rides ..but at the same time incorporating all of thei historic buildings and such. Could even have some gondola rides from the island to the banks of the river. If residents still wanted to live in their houses...let them but I'd venture to say that they would sell their house eventually to the commercial venture.
Gross, an Amusement park? I hope that never happens it would ruin the natural and historic feel of the riverfront and turn into a tourist trap ala Navy Pier in Chicago. Yuck.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 12:47 AM   #19
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Gross, an Amusement park? I hope that never happens it would ruin the natural and historic feel of the riverfront and turn into a tourist trap ala Navy Pier in Chicago. Yuck.
the island was already ruined when delasalle bought half of the buildings on what used to be a bustling island neighborhood and turned it into parking lots
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Old August 18th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #20
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Exactly. The only things left on the island that have historic significance are the Nicollet Island Inn, the Merriam Street Bridge, and the Victorian homes on the north side. Everything else has been destroyed.
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