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Water Works (Minneapolis Parks Foundation) in collaboration with SCAPE Landscape Architecture and Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers
November 1st, 2014 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers
SCAPE / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE and ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers create schematic vision for a new public gateway to the Mississippi River’s only true waterfall.
Developed for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, “Water Works” will be a destination park and neighborhood amenity with nationally significant historic features and year-round appeal.
Minneapolis, Minn. – For 12,000 years, the Mississippi River has powered through Minnesota, where it has scrawled a deep gorge like a signature through limestone and prairie. In the heart of Minneapolis lie St. Anthony Falls, the power source around which the city was built. The Mississippi’s only true waterfall, this natural wonder receded over millennia before being frozen in its current state by the St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. It is this unique geography, geology and history that inspired a schematic vision for a new destination park on St. Anthony Falls, developed by SCAPE/ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE (SCAPE) and ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers (Rogers Partners) for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The design team, which includes James Lima Planning + Design and SRF Consulting, conveyed the vision to the Minneapolis Park Board on Wednesday, October 22, in the form of a design presentation and 3D fly through animation.
Called “Water Works” because the city’s original water supply and fire-fighting pumping stations were located on the site in the 19th century, the strategic four-acre urban location encompasses Minneapolis Park Board-owned land between Portland Avenue South and the Third Avenue Bridge, and between First Street and the Mississippi River. The Water Works site is an important convergence of multiple riverfront destinations and physical features in addition to St. Anthony Falls, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Stone Arch Bridge, lock and dam, historic industrial ruins, the Mill City Museum and Guthrie Theater, as well as a parkway, trails, and Mill Ruins and Gold Medal parks. Like the city itself, this site has grown to meet the changing needs of the people living in it from navigation, to industrial, to recreational and residential.
“The Water Works site is where Minneapolis became the city it is today and has long been a point of convergence: between water and land, industry and recreation, and of cultures from across the world. St. Anthony Falls has attracted and captivated people – first Native Americans, and later, settlers who harnessed the power of the falls through a massive intake canal then unheard-of in size, turned Minneapolis into the world’s milling capital, and spawned timeless global brands like Pillsbury and General Mills,” said Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Parks Foundation. “With great talent and skill, and through a deeply collaborative community-based process, SCAPE and Rogers Partners have created a schematic vision for a four-season park on St. Anthony Falls that meets the needs of 21st century residents and visitors, while celebrating and reactivating the most compelling features of the site.”
Water Works Design
Kate Orff of SCAPE, Principal in Charge of the project, stated, “We are so thrilled to have achieved this major milestone in the design process and, with community support, advance a park design that engages Mississippi River ecology and industrial heritage. This park will become a significant regional attraction and also a local neighborhood amenity. “
Rob Rogers, founder of Rogers Partners said, “This is a remarkable opportunity to re-link the Minneapolis downtown with its storied waterfront. Through significant new urban connections, and a recreational and educational pavilion, the park will provide an all-season place of respite and delight right at the site of the city’s origins – St. Anthony Falls.”
Cost, Phasing and Future Considerations
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation estimates full execution of the Water Works design to cost $19-$23 million, with development occurring in two phases, beginning with the Pavilion and Mezzanine level as early as 2016, followed by the Canal & Gatehouse. The design team identified a number of contingencies vis-a-vis now-buried ruins that will require further exploration. The Parks Foundation is committed to providing private-sector support for Water Works and other parks projects, through philanthropic investment in parks development and stewardship.
Another consideration is the future of the Minneapolis Lock and Dam, immediately adjacent to the site. Slated for closure at the end of 2014, the Lock’s public space will be explored as a future Federally managed visitor center.
About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
About SCAPE/ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
About ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers