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IMAGINING THE MISSISSIPPI 30 WAYS TO TRANSFORM THE RIVERFRONT

Report compiled by a consortium funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the University of Minnesota Work produced by: Vanessa Abin-Fuentes, Jon Bucholtz, Daniel Carlson, Andy Cleven, Julia Hill, Emma Johnson, Kevin Lang, Jonathan Kischkel, Mike Nickerson, Alisha Roland, Laura Schlifer and Davidson Ward.


TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES

WATER

LAND

BUILDING

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Hall Island Swimming Hole The North Loop Pier Bassett Creek Boulevard The West River Swimming Channel St. Anthony Falls Restoration The Upper Lock Pool Freshwater Aquarium The Cove Spirit Island Void The Steam Plant Spa

INDEX OF DESIGN PRECEDENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Boom Island Birding Park Bridge Square Hennepin Avenue Green Bridge Great Northern Gardens Main Street Terraces Stone Arch Revival The Lower St. Anthony Campground The Campus Bend Dinkytown Greenway

The Third Avenue Light Bridge Mill Ruins Park The Gold Medal Gallery The Pillsbury Silo Bakery The Pillsbury Silo Market The Lower Iron Bridge Smokestack Observation Deck The Dam Bridge First Ave to the Tenth The Double-Decker Bridge


For as long as humans have been interacting with the Mississippi River, its rapids, islands and waterfall have been the source of spiritual, cultural and industrial energy. Today that energy has been lost, replaced with a subtle disdain for the dirty river that flows through Minneapolis. This project proposes 30 design ideas to improve the quality of Minneapolis’ riverfront, striving to create a world class public space, enriching the economic, social and environmental well being of its community. Focusing on the riverfront between Boom Island in the north and the University of Minnesota campus in the south, the proposals outlined in this project serve as a social catalyst by creating a clear vision for what “could be.� Beyond this exhibit, this project aims to spur social discourse surrounding what could be one of the most compelling and vibrant riverfronts in the world.


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES Until the construction of a concrete apron over St. Anthony Falls in the 1880’s, the entire Mississippi Gorge through Minneapolis was an ever changing geological feature. Due to the geological makeup of the riverbed, the falls were in a constant recession, traveling at times more than a few feet upstream each year. As the river kept changing, so too did the perspectives of those who interacted with it.

1680 Native America

1680: In the eyes of the Dakota People, the river, islands and falls were sacred ground. Nicollet Island served as a ceremonial birthing ground while Spirit Island was the source of spiritual reverence. The falls themselves were also respected for their power and beauty.

st. anthony falls

1887: The river to the industrial barons of the late Nineteenth Century was nothing more than a means to make their millions. Lumber and flour mills dominated the entire shoreline, with railroads consuming the remaining waterfront. Capping the falls in the name of industry resulted in the concrete apron we see today, destroying any semblance of the natural falls. 1917: In the spirit of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington DC and Burnham’s plan for the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, this City Beautiful design proposed the construction of an elegant and formalized waterfront. Relying upon geometric forms and symmetries, this unrealized proposal utilized the breaking of the street grid and diagonal axes to dramatize important parts of the site.

nicollet island

spirit island

1887 The Industrial Era

1972: Having already destroyed seventeen square blocks of downtown in the name of urban renewal, city planners and architects envisioned a new, modernist utopian waterfront. Complete with large, brutalist apartment complexes, plazas, offices and marinas, this plan looked at imposing an entirely new aesthetic on this historic area. This plan, however, was never implemented.

nicollet island lumber mills stone arch bridge

1990: In a backlash against brutalism, this post-modernist plan begins to approach the industrial history of the site, working to incorporate remnants rather than wipe away all history. Constructed in the 1990’s, this plan developed public space which incorporated both ideals of historical preservation and outdoor recreation. 2010: The plan here summarizes all of the proposed interventions outlined in this research document. The main goal is to utilize existing natural, built, historic and social infrastructure to create a unique riverfront that attracts visitors, both locally and internationally, to the unique river gorge that can once again fuel our city.

railroad

depot

flour mills


1917 The City Beautiful

1990 Historical Interpretation

radial streets

water-level streets

bridge square

st. anthony falls

boom island park

focal point

1972 The Post Industrial boom island marina

housing

industrial museum

trail system

2010 This Proposal viewing platform

housing

transit station

main street pillsbury a mill complex

historic structures

mill ruins park

future parking


PROPOSED INTERVENTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Hall Island Swimming Hole The North Loop Pier Bassett Creek Boulevard The West River Swimming Channel St. Anthony Falls Restoration The Upper Lock Pool Freshwater Aquarium The Cove Spirit Island Void The Steam Plant Spa Boom Island Birding Park Bridge Square Hennepin Avenue Green Bridge Great Northern Gardens Main Street Terraces Stone Arch Revival The Lower St. Anthony Campground The Campus Bend Dinkytown Greenway The Third Avenue Light Bridge Mill Ruins Park The Gold Medal Gallery The Pillsbury Silo Bakery The Pillsbury Silo Market The Lower Iron Bridge Smokestack Observation Deck The Dam Bridge First Ave to the Tenth The Double-Decker Bridge

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13 15 3

17

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WATER

1

If one thing transcends cultural barriers in the history of Minneapolis, it is the attractiveness of water. From the Dakota people who viewed the site for its spiritual significance to the first European explorers who laid eyes upon the broad falls, the presence of the Mississippi River in the gorge between Minneapolis and St Anthony has never failed to be a moving experience. However, in the past 150 years the beauty and power of the river has been abused and exploited for utilitarian use. As the area continues to recover, people are once again beginning to intimately interact with the water. The following projects are steps in developing a post-industrial waterfront that continues to reconnect people to the natural beauty of the Mississippi River.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hall Island Swimming Hole The North Loop Pier Bassett Creek Boulevard The West River Swimming Channel St. Anthony Falls Restoration The Upper Lock Pool Freshwater Aquarium The Cove Spirit Island Void The Steam Plant Spa

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1

Hall Island Swimming Hole

Though it was used until the 1920’s as a swimming beach, Hall Island has since been completely removed from the Mississippi River, amalgamated into the current shoreline and rip-rapped. This proposal includes the reconstruction of the island, utilizing a series of concrete “erosion groins� infilled with sand. Over time, river currents will shape the sand into a natural, concave pattern on the west side of the island. The swimming area will be enhanced with changing stalls, restrooms, a playground and a boat rental booth. Access to the island will be achieved through bridges leading to new shoreline paths.

bridge to mainland erosion groin beach

boat rental plymouth avenue

erosion groin

sand

bridge to mainland


view from plymouth avenue bridge


2 The North Loop Pier Just off shore from the historic North Loop Neighborhood, three barge mooring docks serve as the perfect platforms for creating a protected beach and recreational pier. Built on top of these twentyfive foot diameter steel and concrete moorings, the dock will offer users places to fish, dock their boats, jump into the river and purchase snacks. On the shore, a beach will allow swimmers a safe place to enter the water, if jumping off of the eight foot high dock is not to their liking.

snack shack steps barge mooring open portion beach bridge to land

north loop neighborhood

west river road

beach


mooring dock and swimming hole

bridge to land

barge mooring

steps


3 Bassett Creek Boulevard One of more than 250 tributaries directly entering the Mississippi River, Bassett Creek formerly entered the river through a natural valley. Following hydrologic modifications, the creek has been rerouted into an underground culvert, entering the Mississippi River more than a mile downstream from its original location. This proposal involves daylighting the creek just south of Hennepin Ave and down Second Street. Once the creek banks have been planted with tall grasses and wetland plants, it will be able to process runoff chemicals and toxins, adding greenery to the urban core and improving the water quality of the river.

ceresota mill

tree line bassett creek second avenue

surfacing point

second avenue

green plaza

combined path


bassett creek boulevard and plaza

third avenue

great northern gardens

bassett creek plaza


4 The West River Swimming Channel Reacting to solid reports of an ever cleaner Mississippi River, this design focuses on making swimming in the Mississippi River a concrete reality. Extending from the Hennepin Avenue Bridge to the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam, the swimming channel is separated from the navigational channel by a concrete boardwalk. Indigenous greenery and terraces will line the canal, offering countless places to relax and enjoy the riverfront. Upriver, a series of boat docks will allow boaters to park and access downtown. Downriver, a bath house, offering changing rooms and restrooms, will cover the water inlet to Mill Ruins Park, protecting swimmers from a potential water hazard.

post office

west river road

south of third avenue bridge

steps to river

boardwalk / pier

natural shore

concrete edge


view from boardwalk / pier

post office

boardwalk / pier

steps to river

third avenue bridge

west river road

bath house


5 St. Anthony Falls Restoration Along the entire 2,340 mile length of the Mississippi River, there is only one waterfall: St. Anthony Falls. Covered by concrete in the 1880’s in order to stop the recession of the limestone shelf, the falls were reconstructed as a spillway. This design intervention proposes the reconstruction of a ledge on top of the current apron, allowing water to fall vertically and people to walk beneath the awesome power of Minneapolis’ most famous geologic landmark.

behind the falls

existing spillway

concrete supports

walkway


the falls

parking

entrance

tunnel

bathrooms


6 Upper Lock Pool Because the Upper St. Anthony Lock is facing a possible closure in the next few decades, this project re-imagines the lock as a massive public pool. On hot summer days, visitors will swim in the shadow of the falls, overlooking the beautiful river gorge and downtown Minneapolis. When the warm nights of summer once again revert to winter, ice skaters will have a one-of-a-kind locale for their winter sport.

lifeguard

diving platform

entrance

sunbathing deck

entry

diving platform

deep end - fifteen feet deep


lock pool

aquarium - see intervention seven

shallow end - three feet deep


7 Freshwater Aquarium Utilizing the remaining space beneath the Lock Pool, this project proposes the construction of an interactive freshwater aquarium. Focusing on species native to Minnesota’s rivers and lakes, the aquarium would employ petting tanks, cylindrical tanks and a massive, lock-width tank at one end. Supplementing the aquarium tanks would be skylights, allowing visitors to view swimmers in the pool above, almost as though they are just another fish in the aquarium.

the wall of water

swimming pool

end tank

individual tanks

tank access catwalk

petting tank

entrance


interior with pool skylights

end tank

individual tanks

tank access catwalk

entrance


8 The Cove Nestled between the East Bank, Hennepin Island and the Stone Arch Bridge, the Cove will serve as a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Minneapolis. With an intricate system of boardwalks, grassy hills to lie on and paths to hike on, the Cove offers a small relief from its urban surroundings, a glimpse of nature. Access will be granted through an entry under the Stone Arch Bridge, utilizing stairs and a plaza envisioned in project twenty-six, as well as through a path connecting directly to St. Anthony Main.

power plant outlet

pavilion

boardwalk

swimming area

boardwalks

picnic green

stone arch

entrance

stone arch bridge


view from footbridge

entrance


9 Spirit Island Void As St. Anthony Falls receded, it left behind a column of rock just south of the Stone Arch Bridge. Recognized by the Dakota People as a sacred spot, the island was dotted with scraggly hemlock and spruce trees that housed a family of eagles. Following white settlement, local masons quarried the cliffs, and in the 1960’s the Army Corps of Engineers removed the island’s remnants to allow for safer barge traffic. This project proposes the creation of a meditative void, a scar on the river where the island once stood. Visitors will enter the memorial through a tunnel and will be completely surrounded by the roaring waters, a space of contemplation and beauty.

night view

tunnel entrance

west river road

tunnel entrance


interior of memorial

river channel over tunnel

void

drain

waterfall edge


10 Steam Plant Spa An icon of the Minneapolis riverfront, the University of Minnesota Steam Plant, with its Italianate façade and four massive smokestacks, is the powerhouse for this intervention. Using excess heat from the production of radiator steam, this modern, threepool thermal spa will allow bathers to relax in warm waters all year round. Featuring three bodies of water at different temperatures, each spilling into the next via waterfalls, the spa will afford users the luxury of relaxing in the tranquil Mississippi River Gorge.

“river edge” mixing pool

tunnel entrance

coal bin

entrance changing rooms infinity edge

steam plant

access tunnel lower river pool

high temperature pool

coal bin

entrance


night view

day view


LAND In the 1880’s, Horace Cleveland approached the City of Minneapolis with a revolutionary plan to make a “Chain of Lakes” park system, looping all of downtown in a ring of green. Today, this dream has been realized everywhere except along the riverfront. The ten proposals outlined in this section deal directly with enhancing the outdoor public space along the riverfront. Creating new beaches, greenways, parks and gardens, these design interventions aim to revitalize existing parks and green spaces as well as augment them through the creation of new, carefully programmed interventions.

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Boom Island Birding Park Bridge Square Hennepin Avenue Green Bridge Great Northern Gardens Main Street Terraces Stone Arch Revival The Lower St. Anthony Campground The Campus Bend Dinkytown Greenway

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11

Boom Island

Named for the lumber booms used to catch logs floating downstream, Boom Island has not been an actual island for almost a century, the narrow channel having been clogged with debris and sawdust. After the abandonment of lumber milling, railroads took over, leveling the island and making a large rail yard. This proposal includes dredging a canal behind the current park, making Boom Island a place worthy of its name. The earth removed for the canal will be carefully placed on the island, creating a series of plateaus that will serve as outlooks and picnic grounds for the city. A beach, boat dock, fishing pier and plenty of grilling spaces will accompany the design for summer use, and the paths and hills will be utilized in winter for skiing, snow boarding and sledding.

boardwalk

overlook

new channel fishing pier overlook boardwalk dock / inlet

concrete retaining wall

new channel


the overlook

view towards the plateau


12 Birding Park Nearly 40% of all birds that migrate in North America use the Mississippi River Corridor as a flyway, guiding them to and from warmer climates. Birding Park is designed as the ultimate bird habitat and birding location. With both a prairie landscape and a marsh, the park will offer a safe haven for all types of migrating birds and waterfowl. A system of elevated boardwalks will ensure that visitors can navigate through the park without disturbing the wildlife, and a series of observation decks and a large observation platform will serve as overlooks for viewing birds.

prairie

marsh

boardwalk

creek

observation deck

barrier trees


the marsh

the prairie highlands


13 Bridge Square In the early 20th Century, Bridge Square was a significant meeting point and commercial hub where the Hennepin Avenue Bridge terminated on the West Bank. When the center of commerce shifted ten blocks inland in the 1920’s, Bridge Square began to lose its splendor. Today, the former Bridge Square site is a hole in the urban fabric. This proposal for the area between the Hennepin Avenue Bridge and the Post Office Building fills the void, creating a circulatory plaza that gracefully moves visitors from the downtown level to the riverfront. Utilizing an existing plaza around the post office building as a sculpture park, Bridge Square will also provide space for visitors to lie on the grass and overlook the river. The final intervention will be to transform the parking garage façade into a living wall, improving the aesthetic of the area.

parking garage

ramp

stairs

post office

hennepin avenue

statue

stairs

ramp

statue

hennepin avenue


view from the top

view from below


14 Hennepin Avenue Green Bridge Connections between the east and west banks of the Mississippi River occur along its whole length, but nowhere is there a connection for trees and greenery. This design proposes a transit and pedestrian mall on the south half of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, connecting both sides of the river with greenery for the first time since the initial stream flowed eons ago. A revitalization of the south end of Nicollet Island will be afforded through a pedestrian plaza lined with mixeduse buildings and a streetcar stop. This new development aims to reconnect both banks of the river by creating a more continuous street front. It is only appropriate that the site of the first bridge across the Mississippi River also be the location of the first “Green Bridge.�

roadway

greenway

west bank

streetcar

bike path


nicollet island plaza with ghosted buildings

pedestrian path

new mixed-use buildings

pedestrian plaza


15 Great Northern Gardens Growing where railroad tracks once lead into Minneapolis’ Great Northern Depot, the Great Northern Gardens is an extensive, three acre botanical garden in the heart of downtown. The Gardens will serve as a green “living room” for the city. Entirely surrounded by a row of tall deciduous trees, the gardens will host a variety of enclosed plots, each boxed in with evergreen shrubs. What happens in the plots will vary based on size and orientation, some assuming the normal role of garden plot and others used for dog parks, concert venues and outdoor art. Cutting through the middle of the garden is the former right of way of the railroad tracks, repurposed as a walking/biking path leading to the riverfront, serving as a lush gateway to the Mississippi Riverfront.

second street

pathways

treeline

access road

steps

various sized plots

ramp to river

through path

first street overpass

west river road


gardens looking south

third avenue and gardens


16 Main Street Terraces The Main Street Terraces will create an environment for easy contact with the Mississippi River. The terraced design transforms the inaccessible and overgrown river bank currently beside Main Street into a modern, tiered shoreline. With countless places to walk, sit, relax and swim, the redesigned waterfront will allow visitors to access the river at water level.

north end of terraces

path to st anthony falls

hennepin avenue

merriam street

water level walkway

third avenue bridge


south end of terraces

stairs to various terraces

planter bench

main street


17

Stone Arch Revival

Though well loved by Minneapolitans and visitors alike, the Stone Arch Bridge is not true to its historic form in its current design. This renovation utilizes thinner railings, reducing the visual impact from the initial renovation as a pedestrian bridge. This new design aims to return visual focus to the original structure. Relocating the railing to the outside of the stonework allows space for seating along the length of the bridge. Because the lighting will be in the railings, visitors will have an unobstructed view of the city, normally blocked by traditional streetlights, and will have before them a well illuminated pathway across the river.

underlit railings

underlit bike path

outside railings

bike path

lowered deck

father hennepin park

pedestrian mall

mill canal

new west river rd

stone arch

stone arch bridge

bridge plaza greenway


day

night


18

Lower St. Anthony Campground

Located in the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, this urban campground is designed to allow people traveling west to enjoy one more national park on their trip. Minneapolis was formerly considered a part of the “Great Northwest,” and though the name moved further west with the great explorers, a bit of the rugged experience the settlers lived through can be attained by “roughing it” in this urban campground. Built onto the bluffs which line the west bank south of the falls, a series of boardwalks lead to places where campers can pitch their tents in the shadow of the Guthrie Theater and downtown Minneapolis.

view from tent

gold medal park

west river road

camp h.q.

platform

paths


night view

gold medal park

west river road

camp h.q.

elevated pathways

camping platform

lower st anthony lock and dam


19 Campus Bend Sandwiched between the 10th Avenue Bridge and the Number 9 Bridge, the Campus Bend is a project designed to allow people the opportunity to interact with the Mississippi River. A beach will be constructed in the crook of the river, providing direct water access for recreational use. In addition, fire pits and grills will be placed on site, allowing visitors to toast the night away while relaxing by the shore of the Mississippi River. Access to the site is provided by the lower deck of the Number 9 Bridge (see project 30), a path leading down from the steam plant or the “S Road,� a series of switchbacks and overlooks carved into the bluff that leads directly from the Dinkytown Greenway (see project 20) to the Bend.

erosion groin

fire pit

fire pit

erosion groin

s-road

beach

d-town greenway

s-road

green railyard

dinkytown greenway

u of m campus


the bend

campfire ring


20

Dinkytown Greenway

The site of the first railroad to chug into Minneapolis in the 1860’s, the rail trench running through Dinkytown and along the East Bank of the Mississippi River is also the most unobtrusive route for bikers to reach downtown Minneapolis. In Dinkytown, stairs and ramps lead to a lower level plaza lined with new shops along the retaining walls of the trench. A vintage streetcar track located beside existing rail lines will facilitate the safe movement of students to and from downtown. The existing freight rail lines will continue to operate in tracks designed within a grassy field, showing that industry and recreation can coincide.

retail

stone arch bridge

east bank bridge plaza

seating

streetcar

streetcar stop and tracks to downtown

freight railroad

access to street level

i-35w

plaza

10th ave


dinkytown area of trench

dinkytown

overlooks

green rail yard

to pedestrian bridge

streetcar barn

trench establishments

streetcar stop


BUILDING Though water and green space enhance the beauty of the public realm, the colossal structures dotting the Minneapolis Riverfront serve as landmarks to the city’s industrial past. They are augmented by massive bridges that have linked both sides of the river for centuries and are still standing strong, stitching together Minneapolis’ urban fabric. The final projects in this proposal deal with the adaptive reuse and renovation of many of the city’s most iconic riverfront structures. From simple aesthetic modifications to complete building reinterpretation and construction, these ideas aim to enhance cultural richness along what is soon to become a world class waterfront.

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

The Third Avenue Light Bridge Mill Ruins Park The Gold Medal Gallery The Pillsbury Silo Bakery The Pillsbury Silo Market The Lower Iron Bridge Smokestack Observation Deck The Dam Bridge First Ave to the Tenth The Double-Decker Bridge


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21 Third Avenue Light Bridge When darkness falls on the city, the human scale is dwarfed by larger, louder and brighter components. With the Third Avenue Light Bridge, the human takes on a role of importance, interacting with other massive elements on a level playing field. Through the use of motion sensors on the sidewalks, dim underlighting on the arches and supports of the Third Avenue Bridge will brighten as people walk or bike from one side of the river to another. The dynamic lighting effect achieved through the motion of these lights will add a level of playfulness and light to a section of the riverfront often too dark at night.

lights in action


a typical night

full bridge on the fourth


22 Mill Ruins Park Milling was the driving industrial force behind the development of Minneapolis. Following World War II, almost all of the original mills along the West Bank were abandoned and razed, scarring the riverfront. This proposal involves the excavation of all of the existing foundations buried in Mill Ruins Park as well as the reopening of the First Street Canal as a market street and pedestrian mall. Visitors will be able to walk into the old tail race canals under the mills and access the ruins directly through the wall of the canal. The farmers’ market could expand beneath a proposed elevated access road for the condominiums along the street. Visitors will be able to picnic and rest in grassy lawns located within the exposed ruins.

stone arch plaza

portland

farmers market

view from mill city museum

access road

mill city entrance tail race tunnel

picnic ground

guthrie theater


view from portland avenue

canal access

mill city museum

tailrace access

market stalls

canal edge

pedestrian overpass

ruin picnic ground


23 The Gold Medal Gallery Located within the Gold Medal Flour grain elevators, this proposed art gallery will transform the building into a vessel for art. Experiential exhibits would occupy the headhouse, silos, and basement. A range of installations could include silos full of twinkling fireflies, large scale sculptural interventions, floating balloons or a massive kaleidoscope. Above the silos, a cafe would offer a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the riverfront, with the remaining floors of the headhouse serving as contemporary gallery space.

art galleries to top cafe level and deck firefly-filled silo balloon-filled silo statue-filled silo

light fog exhibit

firefly silo

humbolt lofts

plaza entrance

canal entrance

proposed canal


cafe with a view

interior of gallery


24 Pillsbury Silo Bakery The power for the entire milling industry in Minneapolis was furnished by St. Anthony Falls, driving turbines that were responsible for the grinding of flour. Modern, mechanized flour production was refined within the city limits, feeding the growth of our expanding country and the world. The Pillsbury Silo Bakery aims to honor and embrace the traditions of flour milling in Minneapolis. Constructed by carving volumes into the silos, the bakery will involve every step of the baking production, grinding the flour, mixing, baking and eating. Intended as an educational facility, this bakery will allow the public to participate in the baking process and produce goods that could be sold in a shop at the base of the silos.

cantilever

pedestrian mall and silos

carved levels

primary circulation tower


interior

cantilever

stairwell

carved levels


25

Pillsbury Silo Market

Pioneered in Minnesota, the concrete grain elevator has become an ubiquitous form in the American landscape. The historic Pillsbury Silos on the East Bank, currently unoccupied, are slated for demolition. By carving out the inner silos, the proposal will create a flexible, contemporary market space for year round vendors. Illumination and structural support will be afforded through day lit “shafts” that pierce the façade of the building, positioned to gather daylight. By replacing the concrete foundation wall with a glass façade, access to a currently-planned exterior shopping district will be more easily facilitated.

pedestrian mall and silos

through corridor

main floor/stalls

opening to lower plaza

stairwell


interior

through corridor

structural light tubes

lower level plaza


26 The Lower Iron Bridge All that remains of a former bridge crossing south of the Stone Arch Bridge are two stone piers on the eastern side of the river. This intervention proposes the construction of an iron-and-glass observation deck that utilizes the remaining foundations of the original bridge to cantilever over the Mississippi River. A visitor center and new pathways will connect this intervention with the city and The Cove (see intervention nine).

stone arch bridge lower iron bridge remaining pier

entrance to cove

cafe - visitors center

existing pier

cafe - visitors center


view from stone arch bridge

view from glass deck


27 Smokestack Observation Deck With smokestacks rising some 250 feet above the river, the University of Minnesota steam plant will provide a great location for an observation deck. Using one of the four smokestacks, this plan proposes using both a spiral staircase within and an external elevator to move visitors from street level to two elevated platforms. With observation levels half-way up and another at the top, the 360 degree view overlooking Minneapolis will be unparalleled.

upper obs deck

lower obs deck

elevator

stairwell

lobby

stone arch

smokestack


steam plant

stack detail


28 The Dam Bridge In order to better facilitate the connection between lower levels of the Mississippi River Gorge, the Dam Bridge is a proposal to use existing flood control infrastructure to support a cantilevered pedestrian bridge. Starting at river level on the East Bank, adjacent to the Steam Plant Spa (see project 10), the bridge will gracefully swoop uphill, providing clearance for the Lower St. Anthony Lock and Dam, connecting with West River Road and the I-35W Memorial Plaza on the West Bank. The design affords visitors a close-up look at how the sluices function, allowing them to walk directly above the rushing water of the Mississippi River. dam

bridge

lock

west bank

lock maintenance deck sluice control cantilever bridge bridge support

sluice

i-35w

east bank

sluice

bridge - sloped for lock clearance

lower st. anthony lock


bridge elevation

view from bridge


29 First Avenue to the Tenth Utilizing the steep, grassy slopes south of the Lower St. Anthony Lock and Dam, an outdoor concert venue beneath the Tenth Avenue Bridge would be designed to provide a structured, unique environment for outdoor concerts. With the stage nestled on an arm of the lower lock and dam, concert goers will be able to view all of the action from a platform adjacent to the bridge footings or from the grassy slopes above the shoreline. Including all of the mechanical and electrical hookups necessary, the Tenth Avenue Bridge will serve as scaffolding for all of the lighting and sound equipment, complete with a jumbo disco ball. In a city where light pollution drowns out most of the night sky, a valley full of “stars� will be a welcome relief.

tenth avenue bridge

disco ball

west river road

disco ball

premium seating

stage

premium seating

stage


view from campus bend

the concert


30 Double-Decker Bridge Built in 1922 and currently used as a pedestrian bridge, the Northern Pacific No. 9 Bridge will play a vital role in connecting both banks of the South end of the research site. By placing a pedestrian deck on the bottom chord of the truss bridge, forty feet below the current deck, river-level circulation would be vastly improved. The lower deck will be accessed through ramps on both sides of the bridge. This simple modification to the structure would not only be a unique intervention, but also an economical and logical means of improving circulation along the lower Mississippi River Gorge.

existing deck truss

proposed deck concrete pier

first person view

u of m education sciences building

campus bend

ramp to lower east river parkway


view from west bank

proposed lower deck

existing upper deck

west river road

to downtown


INDEX OF DESIGN PRECEDENTS The following index is a compilation of existing projects that can provide insights for the 30 proposals outlined in the previous pages.

1 2

Hall Island Swimming Hole Amager Strandpark; Hasløv & Kjærsgaard Arkitektfirma; Copenhagen; 2005 The North Loop Pier Fox Riverfront; Stoss Landscape Urbanism; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Currently Under Construction

3

Bassett Creek Boulevard

4

6 7

8

Badeschiff Swimming and Bathing Barges; AMP Architectos; Spree River, Berlin, Germany; 2004

Aare River; Bern, Switzerland St. Anthony Falls Restoration Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de Novy Dvur; John Pawson; Touzim, Bohemia, Czech Republic; 2004 The Upper Lock Pool Nemo 33; John Beernaerts; Uccle, Belgium; 2004 Freshwater Aquarium

Kuroshio Sea; Yukifusa Kokuba; Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Motobu, Okinawa, Japan; 2002

Parque del Lago Open Air Aquarium; Paisajes Emergentes; Quito, Ecuador; 2008

The Tennessee Aquarium; Chermayeff, Sollogub & Poole, Inc; Chattanooga, Tennessee; 2005

Batumi Aquarium; Henning Larsen Architects; Batumi, Georgia; 2010

The Cove

9

Cheonggyecheon Stream, Cheonggyecheon Restoration Centre; Cheonggyecheonro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea; 2005

The West River Swimming Channel

5

Docking Stations; GRO Architects; New York City, New York; Conceptual

Teardrop Park; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.; Battery Park City, Manhattan, New York; 2004

Spirit Island Void

Reflecting Absence: World Trade Center Memorial; Michael Arad and Peter Walker; New York City, New York; Currently Under Construction


10

11 12 13 14 15

The Steam Plant Spa

Parque del Lago – Lagoon Park ; Paisajes Emergentes; Quito, Ecuador; 2008

Blue Lagoon Bath, Clinic and Spa; Sigríður Sigþórsdóttir, VA Arkiteks ; Grindavik, Iceland; 1999

Bondi Icebergs Pool; Robertson and Marks Architects; Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia; 1926

Boom Island Governor’s Island; West 8; New York City, New York, Construction Begins 2012 Birding Park Aviary; group8 and Guscetti & Tournier Bois de la Bâtie; Geneva, Switzerland; 2008 Bridge Square Olympic Sculpture Park ; Weiss/Manfredi Architects; Seattle, Washington; 2001 Hennepin Avenue Green Bridge The High Line; James Corner Field Operation and Diller Scofidio + Renfro; West Manhattan, New York City, New York; 2009 Great Northern Gardens Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); Master Plan by Enrique del Moral, Mario Pani, and Mauricio Campos; El Pedregal,

16 17

Main Street Terraces Rhine Riverfront Swimming; Basel, Switzerland Stone Arch Revival

18 19

The Millenium Bridge; Arup, Foster and Partners and Sir Anthony Caro; River Thames, London, England; 2000

The Lower St. Anthony Campground DC/UCI; Import Export Architecture; Copenhagen, Denmark; 2009 The Campus Bend

20

Mexico City, Mexico;1954

Campus Point Beach; University of California; Santa Barbara, California

Dinkytown Greenway

Oudegracht; Utrecht, Netherlands; Circa 1000


21 22

The Third Avenue Light Bridge Nordpol-Bridge Interactive Light-System; Hegger, Hegger, Schleiff Architects, Kassel, Bollinger + Grohman Engineers; Bochum, Germany; 1999 Mill Ruins Park

23

24 25

The Gold Medal Gallery The Weather Project; Olafur Eliasson; Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, England; 2003

Feelings are Facts; Olafur Eliasson/Ma Yansong; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China; 2010

Rio Delle Torreselle Chandelier; Dale Chihuly; Cincinnati Art Museum foyer, Cincinnati, Ohio; 2001

The Pillsbury Silo Bakery Conical Intersect; Gordon Matta-Clark; 27-29, Rue Beaubourg, Paris, France; 1975 The Pillsbury Silo Market Museo de ArqueologĂ­a de Ă lava, Vitoria; Francisco Mangado; Vitoria, Alava, Spain; 2009

26 27

29 30

The Jewish Museum, Berlin; Daniel Libeskind; Berlin, Germany; 2001

The Lower Iron Bridge Pinohuacho Observation Deck Rodrigo Sheward; Pinohuacho, Cillarica, Chile; 2006 Smokestack Observation Deck 120th Anniversary Eiffel Tower Observation Deck; Serero; London, England; 2009

28

The Fez River Project; Aziza Chaouni ; Medina of Fez, Morocco; 2009

Seattle Space Needle; John Graham; Seattle, Washington; 1962

The Dam Bridge No Precedent First Ave to the Tenth La Maitresse de la Tour Eiffel; Michel de Broin; Paris, France; 2009 The Double-Decker Bridge Holton Viaduct Marsupial Bridge; La Dallman Architects/Bloom Consultants; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 2005


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS As a research group, we have been unbelievably supported at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, and worldwide. Without the incredible generosity of all those who have dedicated time, interest and creativity, the four core researchers would not have been able to compile such a compelling group of design interventions. We would like to first thank Laura Salveson, David Stevens and the staff of the Mill City Museum for their support, both in providing space for an exhibition as well as publishing press releases. We are so humbled that the museum would allowing a group of undergrads to display their dream plans for a better Minneapolis in a place where Minneapolitans and visitors alike can view it. It is also with great sincerity that we wish to thank the many community members who have taken time out of their busy schedules to provide support for the group. Thanks goes to Dave Frank and Schafer Richardson for providing a tour of the Pillsbury A Mill Complex. Thanks also to the Friends of the Riverfront, Lisa Hondrof and Edna Brazapis for their input and support. Dave Wiggins and the National Park Service Gopher Rangers Program have provided advice and feedback that have helped us to frame our research. We also owe a great deal of thanks to our Netherlands-based editor Dr. Charles A. Ward, without whom we would have used the incorrect version of plusquam perfect verbs incessantly. Further south in Switzerland, we also owe thanks to Jonathan Kischkel, who kindly offered to help give a European look to renderings on the West Bank Swimming Channel Project. Vielen Dank! At the University of Minnesota, we owe thanks to Laura Weber and Jeff Falk of University Relations, who created press releases and publicized this project. Without the attention of Tim Walters in the College of Design labs,

we would have been without access to the graphics programs that allowed us to create this book. This research project has also received an incredible deal of support from fellow students. Vanessa Abin-Fuentes, Jon Bucholtz, Emma Johnson and Alisha Roland have spent hours with us late into the evening, assuring that our graphics were completed and that our precedent studies were compiled. Laura Schlifer worked extensively with the layout, typography and printing of this publication, serving as designer and consultant, keeping our group on target, and helping to create this beautiful document. Mike Nickerson did an amazing job compiling all previous design proposals for the riverfront as part of his independent study with Professor Leslie Van Duzer. Although Julia Hill joined the project half way through the semester, she has given her all to produce final renderings and landscape designs, creating some of the most beautiful landscape sketches any of us researchers have ever held. Becky Roos worked diligently to produce a prototype of the Steam Plant Spa in an independent study with Instructor Jim Lutz, who also gave professional design guidance on many occasions. Perhaps the greatest deal of thanks goes to Professor Leslie Van Duzer and Mississippi River Expert Patrick D. Nunnally who have served as advisors on this project. Leslie has ensured that we produce only the finest designs of the highest quality while driving us to be as creative and innovative as possible. Pat has constantly been a source of support and information, letting us know when our ideas were in the “realm of reality,� but moreso making us aware that our ideas were innovative, crazy and feasible. With many thanks,

Daniel Carlson,

Andy Cleven,

Kevin Lang,

Davidson Ward


Imagining The Mississippi  

30 Ways to Transform the Minneapolis Riverfront