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.

Water Works: A Gateway Park to the Mississippi River from Minneapolis Parks Foundation on Vimeo.

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).

2016-2017 Key Dates & Milestones

  • Now-2017 – Water Works cultural resources assessment and design development
  • Summer 2017 – Fuji Ya deconstruction on Water Works site

2017-2019 Anticipated Key Dates & Milestones

  • 2017 – Water Works phase 1 construction start
  • 2019 – Water Works phase 1 grand opening; schematic design begins for phase 2
  • 2021 – Water Works phase 2 construction start (completion in 2023)

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