Common Ground

A new look at the West Bank

The St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board approved a fresh vision for the West Bank of St. Anthony Falls earlier this month. Called Changing Relationships to the Power of the Falls, the Interpretive Vision builds on a landmark 2009 vision for the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Zone, and follows a 2013 East Bank interpretive plan. Together, these reports are guiding visitor orientation and engagement for an increasingly popular regional park destination, clocking some 1.8 million visits in 2013 to sites such as the Stone Arch Bridge.

Changing Relationships was spearheaded by the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board and developed by Cincinnatus‘ Diane Herman, with consultant Jim Roe, and Gabrielle Grinde of HKG. A skilled, thoughtful and slightly irreverent inter-agency group informed the process, including community representatives, along with folks from relevant government agencies, the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. They are too numerous to list on this humble blog, but do look for their names in the report.

The Plan addresses eight interpretive sites and subjects, including what we’re calling Water Works, outlines programming and partnership opportunities, and advocates for investing in the visitor experience. Five Major Recommendations synthesize myriad details and possibilities:

  1. Make indigenous cultures more visible
  2. Create a more vibrant riverfront through expanded interpretive programming
  3. Preserve the area’s industrial ruins while providing appropriate accessibility to the public
  4. Meet the needs of a growing number of visitors
  5. Strengthen the visual and experiential cohesiveness of the area

By now, I’m sure you dying to read the Plan for yourself. Please do! Download a pdf directly from the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board.


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