Water Works: Selective deconstruction of Fuji Ya begins

October 16, 2017 by Janette Law

Our partners at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board recently shared an update on pre-construction activity at Water Works; we’ve excerpted it below. This work prepares the site for construction of Water Works, which is slated to begin in fall 2018.


Selective deconstruction and archival documentation has begun at the former Fuji Ya restaurant site

Work has begun on repurposing the site of the former Fuji Ya restaurant building at 420 1st St. S into a new indoor park pavilion featuring a riverfront restaurant and food service venue run by The Sioux Chef.

Careful deconstruction of the building helps secure and protect historic mill ruins that will be incorporated into the new park pavilion and sets the stage for full-scale construction of Water Works in 2018. 

This process looks different than most demolition projects. It is slower, more methodical and prioritizes protection of historic resources. First, hazardous building and electrical materials (florescent lighting, mercury thermostats, old furnace parts, etc) that require special disposal methods will be removed. Then a photographer will document the Fuji Ya structure and how it ties into underlying mill foundations for archival to the Minnesota Historic Property Record.

After the site has been properly photographed and archived, the Fuji Ya structure will be fully deconstructed. A few of the structure’s large wood beams will be stored onsite and reused as part of the Water Works project.

When the selective deconstruction project is complete, a temporary, weatherproof roof, steel doors, solar-powered exhaust fans and rooftop safety railing will be installed to protect the mill foundations over the winter before full-scale construction begins in 2018.

Featured text and images courtesy of MPRB

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