Water Works

A RiverFirst Signature Project

Water Works represents the completion of a 30-year vision for the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s Mill Ruins Park, the third most popular park in Minneapolis with over 2.5 million visits annually.

Located on the burgeoning downtown side of St. Anthony Falls, the area is quickly becoming overburdened. Even so, people are increasingly drawn to its fascinatingly complex natural and cultural landscape.

Water Works will be a transformational improvement to the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park located at “the soul of the city” – St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. The visionary design for Water Works is a cutting-edge mix of recreation, ecology, and cultural heritage. The design embraces the complexity of its landscape to celebrate the past and anticipate the future of this important natural public space.

Project Leadership

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is co-leading Water Works with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, as part of the RiverFirst partnership. Specific roles are outlined in the 2015 RiverFirst Memorandum of Understanding (pdf).

Anticipated Phase 1 (Mezzanine) Key Dates & Milestones

  • 2017 – Cultural resources identification and Mezzanine Phase schematic design; deconstruction of Fuji Ya building
  • 2018 – Completion of Mezzanine Phase construction documents and start of construction
  • 2019 – Completion of Mezzanine Phase

Anticipated Phase 2 (Riverside) Key Dates & Milestones

  • 2019 – Schematic design begins for Riverside Phase
  • 2021 – Riverside Phase construction start
  • 2023 – Riverside Phase completion

Related Projects

26th Ave N Overlook + Greenway
Scherer site + Hall’s Island (MPRB)
Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan (MPRB)
St. Anthony Falls Interpretive Plan and West Bank Interpretive Plan (St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board)

Earlier Milestones

(More links and downloads coming soon)

  • 2014 – Completion of Water Works Design Vision & Adoption in the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan
  • 2012 – Completion of Water Works Conceptual Development Plan
  • 2001 – Mill Ruins Park opens to the public
  • 1985 – Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board acquires the land that will become Mill Ruins Park