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Water Works Construction is Under Way!

We’re thrilled to announce that major construction is under way at Water Works, thanks to the generosity of donors to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation RiverFirst Capital Campaign, who’ve contributed more than $16.7 million of the $18 million goal. THANK YOU!

(If you haven’t yet supported this effort, your contribution will be matched by making a contribution here today.) 

Dormant for more than two decades, the site is integral to the history of human activity adjacent to the St. Anthony Falls, and where the Stone Arch Bridge connects to downtown Minneapolis. This month, work has begun at the Water Works site with excavation around the buried Columbia Mill walls and rehabilitation of historic stonework masonry. Much of the initial work consists of site excavation, grading and utilities, with building demolition and new construction happening later. Construction of the new Water Works Pavilion will begin in August with a completion anticipated in the fall of 2020.

Already home to iconic landmarks, including St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge, Water Works will be an expansion of Mill Ruins Park and become a much-needed destination for the more than 2.8 million annual visitors to the area, a number that is expected to grow significantly in the next decade. Among the new amenities will be a park pavilion with a restaurant by James Beard Award-winning The Sioux Chef; revealed and restored historic mill remnants; a city steps gathering and performance space; and places to picnic and play. Trails will better distribute pedestrian, bikers and parkway traffic through this section of the riverfront including better access to downtown and the Third Avenue Bridge.

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Photos and captions courtesy of Doug Verdier.

As part of the construction, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board anticipates closing a portion of West River Parkway, as soon as today, July 29, and continuing into the fall. The closure will affect the Parkway between 4th Ave N and the Stone Arch Bridge parking lot. The Park Board will endeavor to keep bike and pedestrian trails open as much as possible. For regular construction updates, please sign up at

Help Build This Park!
Our fundraising is not complete.  If you haven’t already contributed to the RiverFirst campaign, please do so today.  

Your gift is essential to helping us bring this visionary project to life. AND, your donation will go twice as far if you give now, thanks to a matching grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. Thank you!

Featured image courtesy of Nancy Verdier

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.