This past Saturday I visited Robbinsdale Minnesota, a first ring suburb, northwest of downtown Minneapolis. I was there for a thrift store that ended up being closed, but luckily was able to visit the Robbinsdale Historical Society Museum, where I found this clipping. Back when Minneapolis was a little more elastic. Apologies for the glare.
The past: Though there are no tours today, the falls of St Anthony have been held in place by a concrete “apron” since the 19th century, and were more recently complimented with a lock and dam system to make the falls navigable. Both pieces fit into a larger story of a manipulated landscape that allowed Minneapolis to emerge.
Present: Today, the riverfront here is worth being in the background of your wedding pictures. Decades after milling stopped here, and over twenty years after the fire of the Washburn Mill, the importance of this place is being recognized. Some of the real estate right around Mill City is the most expensive in the city and views around here are recognizable symbols of Minneapolis.
The Future: This picture does show us about our changing transportation options and how transportation can respond to and shape (or fail to shape) our built environment. Railroads made the milling industry possible, it shaped the city of Minneapolis. A symbol of industrialization and deindustrialization. Segways? What changes have happened and will continue to happen here that attract segway traffic? What else can we anticipate happening as this space as industry is pushed further and further into the past?