This historic area opened as a park in October 2001. While there, you can:
1. walk across the Stone Arch Bridge to Main Street and St. Anthony
2. see St. Anthony Falls either from the bridge or the observation deck at the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers building.
3. Visit Mill City Museum and learn about Minneapolis as a Milling town.
Minneapolis was once the world's flour milling capital. The ruins of what was once the largest flour mill - Washburn A Mill - is now home to the 8 story Mill City Museum. This National Historic Landmark is set on a beautiful location on the bank of the Mississippi River overlooking St. Anthony's Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge.
We ended up here "accidentally" after walking along the Mississippi. The ruins looked intriguing so we decided to check out the museum.
The history of the milling industry is presented through multi-sensory and hands-on exhibits. There is a comfortable 8 minute "show" in a moving elevator that gave good insight to the working atmosphere in the mill.
There is also a theater showing "Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat", a Water Lab, a Baking Lab, Exhibit Gallery, and the 'Ruin' Courtyard.
Take the elevator to the top for great views up and down the Mississippi. We watched a tourist boat maneuver through the locks and dams near St. Anthony's Falls.
The building and the ruins (as well as the falls and bridge) are a photographer's delight. We enjoyed this more than we expected.
Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Also open Mondays in July and August: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) & college students (valid ID), $5 children ages 6-17
Wikipedia tells us that the Washburn "A" Mill was the largest flour mill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The original mill was built in 1874 by Cadwallader C. Washburn, but destroyed in an explosion in 1878. The mill was later rebuilt, and for nearly 50 years, the Washburn "A" Mill was the most technologically advanced and the largest mill in the world. At the peak of its production, it could grind enough flour to make 12 million loaves of bread per day. Behind the old mill ruins, the new Guthrie Theater's cantilevered lobby juts out toward the Mississippi River .
The Mill City Museum was built within the remains of the Washburn "A" Mill, a National Historic Landmark, which was at one time the largest, most technologically advanced flour mill in the world. At its peak, the "A" Mill ground enough flour to make 12 million loaves of bread in a day. After World War I the milling industry in Minneapolis began to decline. As the industry moved out of Minneapolis, the old mills fell into disuse. The "A" Mill closed in 1965 and in 1991 was nearly destroyed by fire. The Mill City Museum describes the flour milling industry that developed using the water power from the Saint Anthony Falls, dominated world flour production for roughly a half-century, and fueled the growth of Minneapolis, the “Mill City.”
Mill Ruins Park is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River at the end of the Stone Arch Bridge, next to the Upper St. Anthony Lock. In the 1800's, the Saint Anthony Falls Industrial District was the largest water powered facility in the world. The district was recently excavated and the park opened to the public in the Fall of 2001.
This mill was built in 1881 and was the largest mill in the world. The milling industry was responsible for the growth of Minneapolis in the late 1800's. In the photo that I have in my General Tip for Minneapolis you can see the west wall is heavily bowed. A lot of work has been done to this building to make sure it remains standing.
This Museum is house in the old Washburn-Crosby Co. flour mill which has been vacent for decades and burn in sdie in 1991.
It's owned by the Minnesota Historical Society and opened as a museum in September 2003. The building itself is a landmark.
At this place you can learn about Minnesota as a flour milling town.
The Mill City Museum tells the history of the mighty Mississippi River, the flour industry and how both helped put Minnesota on the map. It's built in the ruins of the Washburn A. Mill, which was partially burned down in a fire in 1991.
You can sample bread in the Baking Lab, splash around in the Water Lab or just admire the creative design of the museum itself. It reminds me of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin since it's built in an old building and the museum tour takes you up from ground floor to the top.