Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
exiled_antipodean
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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby exiled_antipodean » May 23rd, 2014, 2:48 pm

HuskyGrad wrote:
Anondson wrote:With closing of the Upper St. Anthony locks, why keep the Lower locks open or the Ford locks? Is there anything above the Ford locks that needs barge access?
My guess is for the cruises that operate from Bohemian Flats.
Clearly we need to spend a million dollars a year (that's a guess) keeping the lock open for these cruises :)

[Mississippi river portion of Army Corps of Engineers in MN/IA/WI is budgeted at $45-50 million a year]

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby MNdible » August 19th, 2014, 1:54 pm

Froggie's note about the West River Road bike trail reminded me...

Apparently the plans for the Water Works are "nearly completed."

Unfortunately, not completed enough for us to actually see them, but still.

I heard that they received a great deal of critical feedback from neighbors and preservationists. From what I can tell, the plans are going to be weaker as a result of this -- perhaps more respectful to history and neighbors, but less iconic. Still, it will be so huge to get this area closer to its full potential.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby lordmoke » August 19th, 2014, 3:09 pm

Cool to see the lock and dam is potentially going to be converted into a visitor center.

web

Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby web » August 19th, 2014, 8:41 pm

is just a lock......lock and dam #1 is ford.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby mattaudio » August 19th, 2014, 9:35 pm

There is a dam too.... It's pretty rare to have a lock without a dam.... usually canals with very little water flow.

The reason why Lock and Dam #1 is the Ford Dam is because it was the most upstream L&D when the Upper Mississippi navigation channel was standardized in the early 20th century. Later on, the Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks and dams were built to create the aforementioned port in North/Northeast Mpls.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby Avian » August 19th, 2014, 10:53 pm

Almost impossible, I know. But I would love to see the falls "restored" as a real waterfall instead of an engineered sluiceway. Not many cities in the world have a 400-foot-wide waterfall in the center of their downtown. Even if it is just a "reconstruction" of what was originally there. THAT would be a real attraction.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby grant1simons2 » August 19th, 2014, 11:10 pm

The north part of the Mississippi within Minneapolis borders is an area that would really benefit from riverfront restaurants and docks if we could work at that.

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TommyT
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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby TommyT » August 20th, 2014, 7:39 am

Avian wrote:Almost impossible, I know. But I would love to see the falls "restored" as a real waterfall instead of an engineered sluiceway. Not many cities in the world have a 400-foot-wide waterfall in the center of their downtown. Even if it is just a "reconstruction" of what was originally there. THAT would be a real attraction.
Well, here's the problem with that... The reason the falls are the way they are is because they were eroding. They were actually much larger and farther south of downtown Minneapolis a very long time ago. They are where they are at today because they are engineered. If they were left to continue on the path they were, Minneapolis wouldn't even have falls because they would be much farther up the river, or non existent.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby mamundsen » August 20th, 2014, 7:56 am

grant1simons2 wrote:The north part of the Mississippi within Minneapolis borders is an area that would really benefit from riverfront restaurants and docks if we could work at that.
I was just thinking this the other day. I can't believe Fuji Ya used to be there and moved away. I would think a view of the falls would be awesome!

I think if they could put in a patio type space it would be a huge draw similar to Tin Fish on Calhoun, Bread and Pickle on Harriet, or Sea Salt on Minnehaha.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby mattaudio » August 20th, 2014, 8:02 am

Apparently Psycho Suzi's is quite the riverfront draw (especially for suburbanites). I can imagine more of the northern riverfront (both sides) getting this treatment as it de-industrializes. Heck maybe the pool from Boom Island to 694 (or even to the Coon Rapids dam) could become a recreational boating hotspot. Sort of sarcasm.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby EOst » August 20th, 2014, 8:05 am

TommyT wrote:Well, here's the problem with that... The reason the falls are the way they are is because they were eroding. They were actually much larger and farther south of downtown Minneapolis a very long time ago. They are where they are at today because they are engineered. If they were left to continue on the path they were, Minneapolis wouldn't even have falls because they would be much farther up the river, or non existent.
Well, I'm pretty sure you could make it look more natural without actually exposing the limestone/sandstone rock that fueled the rapid erosion, perhaps just with concrete. It would probably cost a lot, though, and you'd have to take out the Locks to make it look right.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby mattaudio » August 20th, 2014, 8:10 am

I can't find the link to that student project a few years ago that had a couple dozen very aspirational projects for the riverfront. It had a tunnel behind the falls for people to walk through. Anyone still have that link?

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby nBode » August 20th, 2014, 9:42 am

mattaudio wrote:I can't find the link to that student project a few years ago that had a couple dozen very aspirational projects for the riverfront. It had a tunnel behind the falls for people to walk through. Anyone still have that link?
I know what you're talking about but can't find it either…

There were also ideas for reusing the locks as an aquarium or pool, a whitewater rapids, adding hot pools and observation decks to the UMN steam plant… about a dozen such ideas. Really well-done in my opinion.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby gpete » August 20th, 2014, 10:05 am

mamundsen wrote: I was just thinking this the other day. I can't believe Fuji Ya used to be there and moved away. I would think a view of the falls would be awesome!

I think if they could put in a patio type space it would be a huge draw similar to Tin Fish on Calhoun, Bread and Pickle on Harriet, or Sea Salt on Minnehaha.
Fuji-ya didn't want to move away. Someone else probably knows more about this than I, but the Park Board took part of the Fuji-Ya property using eminent domain to create West River Parkway. Legal battles followed.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby MNdible » August 20th, 2014, 10:23 am

How Fuji-Ya went down:

The Park Board took a portion of their parking lot, through eminent domain, to allow for the construction of West River Road. Fuji-Ya claimed that they couldn't operate without the parking lot, and so demanded that the Park Board purchase all of their land, not just the parking lot. This went to court, and Fuji-Ya "won" -- the Park Board was forced to purchase all of their land.

In retrospect, one can imagine that Fuji-Ya (or any restaurant) at that location would be a license to print money right now, with or without a parking lot, but the area was very very very different thirty years ago, and there would have been a lot of lean years for them.

From the greater-public-good perspective, building West River Road seems to be an obvious win.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby woofner » August 20th, 2014, 11:13 am

You're talking about Sharon Sayles Belton's project of building West River Road, right?

Regarding St Anthony "Falls", theoretically an apron could be constructed that at least pretended to look somewhat like an actual waterfall while still preventing migration. But yeah, a lot more expensive and less realistic than that whitewater park that never seems to get built on the east bank.
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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby David Greene » August 20th, 2014, 11:13 am

TommyT wrote:Well, here's the problem with that... The reason the falls are the way they are is because they were eroding. They were actually much larger and farther south of downtown Minneapolis a very long time ago. They are where they are at today because they are engineered. If they were left to continue on the path they were, Minneapolis wouldn't even have falls because they would be much farther up the river, or non existent.
The limestone shelf ends not very far up the river from the falls, so they would have become rapids at best. We are extraordinarily lucky that the technology came around to preserve the falls just before they were about to disappear.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby MNdible » August 20th, 2014, 11:57 am

woofner wrote:You're talking about Sharon Sayles Belton's project of building West River Road, right?
Based on my incomplete knowledge of this area, most of the work on this stretch of West River Road was completed by the late 1980's, before SSB's time.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby mister.shoes » August 20th, 2014, 12:43 pm

David Greene wrote:
TommyT wrote:Well, here's the problem with that... The reason the falls are the way they are is because they were eroding. They were actually much larger and farther south of downtown Minneapolis a very long time ago. They are where they are at today because they are engineered. If they were left to continue on the path they were, Minneapolis wouldn't even have falls because they would be much farther up the river, or non existent.
The limestone shelf ends not very far up the river from the falls, so they would have become rapids at best. We are extraordinarily lucky that the technology came around to preserve the falls just before they were about to disappear.
But what have we preserved? And for what? Very little in DT MPLS depends on water power any more, and that which does could easily (er, hypothetically?) use pipes/tunnels from farther upstream to maintain the vertical drop necessary for the power. And in exchange for "preserving" the falls, we have a giant concrete spillway that looks absolutely nothing like a waterfall. Fully-natural rapids would be very cool and very powerful and be far more interesting to look at than the current apron. DT MPLS will never have the big-drop waterfall again—that's just how things are. And in contrast to many other incredible natural phenomena that have disappeared from this planet, humans aren't to blame for St. Anthony Falls going away. They *are* to blame for St. Anthony Falls being encased in a concrete tomb, however.
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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby David Greene » August 20th, 2014, 12:56 pm

mister.shoes wrote:But what have we preserved? And for what? Very little in DT MPLS depends on water power any more, and that which does could easily (er, hypothetically?) use pipes/tunnels from farther upstream to maintain the vertical drop necessary for the power.
Apparently that wasn't a cost-effective option in late 19th-century Minneapolis. Without the apron Minneapolis would be a neighborhood of St. Paul today.


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