The Minneapolis Metro area is seeing a wave of growth that is not showing signs of slowing down.
“Minneapolis is in the middle of a major transformation, which is making the city a stronger destination both for meetings and for leisure travel,” explained Matt Laible, director of PR and communications for Meet Minneapolis. “We’re calling this transformation ‘The Minneapolis Big Build,’ and it includes major new facilities, green spaces and public amenities.”
At the forefront of all that growth is U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last summer. Not only is the stadium the new home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, but along with the city it will be host to Super Bowl LII and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four tournament.
Along with the new U.S. Bank Stadium, the city is also in the middle of a hotel boom with 1,100 new rooms added in the past year, including the Radisson RED Minneapolis and AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown, and several projects are still underway. Other developments downtown include Nicollet Mall, Commons Park and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
“Nicollet Mall, our main street downtown, is in the final year of a complete redesign and reconstruction,” Laible said. “It will be substantially complete later this year, and will be a more inviting, greener place for shopping and dining.”
In addition to all the new development, the Twin Cities metro area is full of venues that highlight the region’s history and culture.
Along the banks of the Mississippi sits the Mill City Museum, located on the site that was once the Washburn A Mill, the world’s largest flour mill. An explosion at the mill in 1878 destroyed the building and the surrounding riverfront area, but the mill was rebuilt in 1880 and became the largest and most technically advanced mill in the world. As the need for the mill diminished, it closed in 1965, and in 1991 the vacant building was destroyed by a fire. In 2003, the Mill City Museum opened to showcase the importance that flour milling and other industries that used water power had on the growth of Minneapolis.
The museum’s design combines relics of the building’s past with brick, wood and steel for a modern industrial feel. The 10,000-square-foot courtyard is surrounded by brick masonry walls and can accommodate 500 guests. Inside, there is the Mill Commons and Rail Corridor space, as well as three conference rooms that can be used for meetings, lectures and receptions.
First opened in 1971 and expanded in 2005, the Walker Art Center campus completed additional renovations last year. The museum is home to contemporary visual arts and design exhibitions and features dance, theater and music performances, film screenings, lectures and classes. There are 11 exhibition galleries, a cinema, theater, indoor lounges, outdoor terraces and a cafe, bar and restaurant, many of which can be used for private events.
The recent transformation included a new main entrance, outdoor plaza and lobby as well as new artwork. In June, the new Wurtele Upper Garden will be complete and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which houses the city’s iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry, a fountain-sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, will reopen.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a joint project between the Walker and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, is an 11-acre public space currently across the street from the Walker building, but the redevelopment will connect the Sculpture Garden and the Art Center, making it one unified space.