Parks and Recreation
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Holidays and Festivals
For Further Study
Location: Eastern Minnesota on the Mississippi River, United States, North America
Time Zone: 6 am Central Standard Time (CST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 81%; Black, 13%; Asian, 4%; Hispanic origin (of any race) 2% (1996)
Elevation: 255 m (838 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 44°98'N, 93°26'W
Climate: The Twin Cities region has wide fluctuations in temperature, with long, cold, and snowy winters but warm temperatures and low humidity in the summer.
Annual Mean Temperature: 7°C (44.7°F); January-11°C (12.2°F); July 22°C (72°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 117 cm (46 in)
Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall and melted snow): 56 in (142 cm)
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 612 (Minneapolis & suburbs), 651 (St. Paul & suburbs)
Postal Codes: 55401–70
Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, once heated rivals, are known today as the Twin Cities and are the nexus of a thriving 11-county metropolitan area. Home to the largest of the four campuses of the University of Minnesota, the area has rich cultural resources and a reputation for civic involvement by ordinary citizens and by its business community. It is home to numerous major corporations, which draw on a well-educated labor pool. In the decades since World War II (1939–45), the region's population has become increasingly a suburban one, but urban redevelopment has kept its central cities vital and safe.
The Twin Cities are located in eastern Minnesota, at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, near the Wisconsin border. St. Paul is located roughly eight kilometers (five miles) southeast of Minneapolis, which is the seat of Hennepin County. The Twin Cities Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises ten Minnesota counties, as well as one (St. Croix) in Wisconsin.
The Twin Cities region is accessible by I-94, a major east-west route running from coast to coast of the United States, and I-35, bisecting the country north to south from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, I-494 and I-694 offer access to the Twin Cities suburban areas.
Bus and Railroad Service
Amtrak and Greyhound both serve the Twin Cities region. If traveling from the airport, Airport Express is a public shuttle van service, providing transportation to hotels in downtown Minneapolis. Airport Express shuttles depart the airport (in front of luggage pick-up area) approximately every half-hour and stop at all of the downtown hotels; likewise, the shuttles depart major hotels approximately every half-hour.
In 1998–99, over 30 million passengers passed through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on 491,273 arriving and departing flights. The Airport is located 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. The airport, which is served by 13 commercial airlines and is the international headquarters of Northwest Airlines, services a total of over 1,000 arriving and departing flights every day. Direct flights are available to major foreign cities. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is ranked as one of the nation's safest.
Minneapolis Population Profile
Area: 143 sq km (59 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 81% white; 13% black; 3.3% American Indian; 4.3% Asian
Nicknames: Twin Cities (with St. Paul), City of Lakes, Land of 10,000 Lakes
Description: Covers counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin
Area: 15,076 sq km (6,064 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 130
Percentage of national population 2: 0.9%
Average yearly growth rate: 1.1%
Ethnic composition: 91.2% white; 4.4% black; 3.4% Asian/Pacific Islander
- The Minneapolis metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
- The percent of the United States' total population living in the Miami metropolitan area.
The Twin Cities are among the nation's major transportation hubs. Some 150 trucking companies serve the region, making it a major trucking center. The Minneapolis-St. Paul ports together handle about ten million metric tons (11 million tons) of cargo annually. Four air cargo carriers and 40 air freight forwarders service the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; more than 154 metric tons (170 tons) of freight pass through the airport annually.
The streets of Minneapolis are laid out in two adjacent grid patterns. Streets north of Grant Street follow a northeast-southwest axis, while those to the south are laid out north-south and east-west. With the Mississippi River wending right through its center, St. Paul's layout is more irregular and broken up by hills and bluffs. Both cities have extensive systems of elevated, covered skywalks connecting virtually all of their major government and commercial buildings. The skywalk systems move much of the cities' street life to second-story level during the region's notorious winters, when they provide a climate-controlled haven from biting winds, frigid temperatures, and heavy snowfall. The Minneapolis skywalks can take pedestrians as far as 12 city blocks—from a city-operated parking ramp to the convention center.
The Twin Cities area is known for ease of commuting, with traffic flow aided by an efficient freeway system, medium population density, and the fact that commercial and public buildings are spread out over two downtown areas. The legendary politeness of Midwesterners may contribute as well.
Bus and Commuter Rail Service
Metropolitan Council Transit Operations (MCTO), the nation's second-largest bus system, operates more than 900 buses every day in the Twin Cities and the surrounding suburbs, carrying over 60 million passengers annually. The Twin Cities are also served by more than 800 taxis.
Visitors might want to launch their sightseeing venture with an overview of the city from the observation deck atop the Foshay Tower and catch a glimpse of the Farmers' Market along the Nicollet Mall. The Minneapolis Planetarium is a popular site, as is Underwater World, a 4.5 million-liter (1.2 million-gallon), walk-through aquarium at the Mall of America. The Minnesota Zoo hosts 450 species of animals featured in their natural habitats. For a thrill, visitors can take a ride on the Wild Thing "hyper coaster" at Valleyfair! Family Amusement Park. For a tamer afternoon, there are an abundance of museums in Minneapolis. While many display fine art and history, several host unique exhibits, from medical quackery to children's interactive games. Gray Line sightseeing tours of the Twin Cities area visit Nicollet Mall and other attractions.
In 1990, the population of Minneapolis was 368,000, of which 81 percent were white; 13 percent were black; 4.3 percent Asian; and 3.3 percent American Indian. Hispanics (both white and black) accounted for 2.1 percent of the population. The 1996 population estimate was 358,785. The population of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated at 2,792,137 as of 1997. The region's racial composition was listed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1996 as 91.2 percent white; 4.4 percent black; 3.4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander.
The city of Minneapolis identifies 81 distinct neighborhoods, 11 communities, and four industrial areas within its boundaries. The central historic landmark of Minneapolis is Bridge Square, the spot that marks the founding of the city. The city is located on both the east and west banks of the Mississippi River, with the larger part located west of the river. Nicollet Avenue is home to the major downtown shopping district, Nicollet Mall, which is closed to all vehicles except buses and taxis. The city's financial district is located on Marquette Avenue. The University of Minnesota campus is mostly located on the east bank of the river. The Lake of the Isles area houses an upscale residential neighborhood. Divided between both river banks, between two bridges, is the grain-milling district.
|City Fact Comparison|
|Population of urban area1||2,363,000||10,772,000||2,688,000||12,033,000|
|Date the city was founded||1849||AD 969||753 BC||723 BC|
|Daily costs to visit the city2|
|Hotel (single occupancy)||$91||$193||$172||$129|
|Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)||$44||$56||$59||$62|
|Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)||$2||$14||$15||$16|
|Total daily costs||$137||$173||$246||$207|
|Number of newspapers serving the city||2||13||20||11|
|Largest newspaper||Star Tribune||Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar||La Repubblica||Renmin Ribao|
|Circulation of largest newspaper||334,751||1,159,339||754,930||3,000,000|
|Date largest newspaper was established||1867||1944||1976||1948|
|1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.|
|2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.|
|3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.|
Inner-ring suburbs on the west bank of the river include Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale, Crystal, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Edina, and Richfield. Second-and third-tier suburbs include Bloomington (home of the Mall of America), Eden Prairie, Chaska, Minnetonka, and Plymouth. The neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota are located in the eastern part of the city.
St. Paul is smaller than Minneapolis and preserves more of a traditional "small town" feeling. Its neighborhoods include Summit Hill, Crocus Hill, St. Anthony Park, Merriam Park, Macalester-Groveland, and Highland Park.
The area that today comprises the Twin Cities was home to the Sioux tribe when it was first discovered in the late seventeenth century by Europeans—a French party headed by Father Louis Hennepin (for whom Hennepin County is named) that explored the area where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers meet and named the waterfall at the navigable head of the Mississippi River after St. Anthony. Permanent settlement began after the establishment of Fort St. Anthony by the U.S. military in the early nineteenth century. Settlers began arriving from the East, followed by immigrants from Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland. In 1872 present-day Minneapolis was formed by the merger of cities on the east and west banks of the Mississippi. Fueled by its two major industries—timber and flour milling—and an abundant supply of immigrant labor, the city grew rapidly. Rail line expansion also made it a major transportation center. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul flourished through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as their infrastructure grew and civic and cultural institutions sprang up. A rivalry developed between Minneapolis, the state's most populous city and home of industrial giants such as Cargill and General Mills, and St. Paul, the state capital, venue of the state fair and home to the "gentry" that populated the Summit Hill neighborhood.
The 1920s saw a building boom in both cities. However, it stalled during the Depression years of the 1930s when most new construction was sponsored by government relief programs. The area's reputation for social activism grew during these years, when it became a focal point for the organized labor movement, as well as both the Socialist and Communist parties. The Twin Cities continued to flourish in the post-World War II decades, although the area's economic base shifted from the traditional lumber and milling industries to new areas, including farm machinery and electronics. Suburbs mushroomed in the region, which grew into the nexus of a seven-county metropolitan region, two-thirds of whose current residents are suburbanites. However, the cities themselves remained vigorous through major urban redevelopment efforts, including Minneapolis's Nicollet Mall and the networks of skywalks in both cities.
Minneapolis, the seat of Hennepin County, is divided into 77 local legislative districts and comprises six U.S. congressional districts. Its government is headed by a mayor and a 13-member city council elected to four-year terms of office.
In the 1990s the spread of drug trafficking and other types of street crime from such urban centers as Chicago was a concern in the Twin Cities region. However, major development projects and the assignment of more beat cops to the area have kept downtown Minneapolis a busy, safe, and clean area. In 1995, Minneapolis police reported 1,978 violent crimes per 100,000 population, including 27 murders, 162 rapes, and 992 robberies. Property crimes reported numbered 9,567 and included 2,243 burglaries and 1,255 motor vehicle thefts.
The Minneapolis Police Department serves five precincts with 910 sworn personnel, 165 civilian personnel, and 12 police dogs. It responded to almost 400,000 calls in 1998–99.
In 1997 the Minneapolis Fire Department operated 20 stations in four districts, with 73 civilian personnel and 413 sworn firefighters operating 30 fire trucks. In 1998–99, the department answered nearly 11,000 fire alarms and responded to some 23,000 medical emergencies.
The Twin Cities region has a strong, diversified economy. Thanks to a well-educated work force, average unemployment in the Twin Cities is consistently below the national average, and per capita income is above it. Numerous major corporations are headquartered here, including Cargill, Northwest Airlines, 3M, Honeywell, Weyerhauser, Medtronic, and many more. Reflecting the agricultural legacy of America's heartland, the food-processing industry was historically the mainstay of the area's economy and is still represented by General Mills, Land O'Lakes, Pillsbury, International Multi-foods, and others. The proximity of the University of Minnesota and other research facilities has helped make the Twin Cities one of the nation's major high-technology centers, with over 1,300 research-based high-tech firms. The Twin Cities is also an important financial center—the major one in the upper Midwest, with a number of major financial companies, as well as a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. Service industries and retailing are also important sectors of the region's economy. Major retailers located in MinneapolisSt. Paul include Dayton Hudson, Target, SUPERVALU, and the Fingerhut catalogue business.
There are 22 lakes within the city limits of Minneapolis (thus the nickname "City of Lakes") and 31 within the Minneapolis-St. Paul city limits (as well as hundreds more in the surrounding suburbs). Of Minneapolis's total area of 143 square kilometers (59 square miles), almost seven percent is water. In addition to the multitude of lakes, the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers wend their way through the region, which has one of the country's most extensive networks of parklands. The immediate seven-county area boasts four state parks and 19 wildlife management and/or refuge areas.
In 1998–99, Minneapolis city services recycled 38,516 metric tons (42,456 tons) of materials, including 19,716 metric tons (21,733 tons) of newspapers, cans, and glass. Minneapolis residents use 246 million liters (65 million gallons) of water annually.
As the home of major retail corporations including Dayton Hudson, Target, and Best Buy, the Twin Cities has a history of innovative retailing. In 1956, the suburb of Edina became the site of the nation's first enclosed shopping mall, Southdale. Still a commercial success, Southdale today is the anchor of an entire business district and residential complex.
In the 1960s, downtown Nicollet Mall was turned into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. This 12-block stretch of stores is still the main shopping district in downtown Minneapolis, boasting four department stores, numerous specialty stores, and four multilevel malls, including the City Center, Gaviidae Common, and IDS Crystal Court. Major department stores include Dayton's, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Retail complexes in downtown St. Paul include Galtier Plaza, Town Square, and the World Trade Center. The St. Paul Farmers' Market, open April through November, features fresh produce, baked goods, cheese, and arts and crafts.
The best-known shopping outlet in the Greater Twin Cities area is the Mall of America in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. The country's most extensive shopping and entertainment complex, this "mega-mall" occupying 390,180 square meters (4.2 million square feet) of space opened in 1992. Offering movies and even amusement-park rides, as well as some 400 shops, restaurants, and entertainment sites, it is also a major tourist attraction, drawing over 40 million visitors a year.
The Twin Cities population is a well-educated one. Of all adults ages 25 and over, 82 percent have a high school diploma (compared with a U.S. average of 75 percent); 28 percent have completed four years of college (versus the national average of 20 percent).
With a budget of over $625 million and per-pupil spending of nearly $8,000 annually, the Minneapolis school system employs 8,114 people. In the 1998–99 school year, the system's 120 schools enrolled a total of 49,388 students. There are also 248 private schools in the Twin Cities area.
The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota is ranked among the nation's top 20 public universities. Located in the heart of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the university offers bachelor's degrees in over 150 fields, as well as 200 master's degrees, and 100 doctoral degrees. In addition to academic excellence, the university is also an important cultural resource in the region.
Other institutions of higher learning in the Twin Cities include the Catholic-affiliated College of St. Catherine; Hamline University, Minnesota's oldest private university; Macalester College in St. Paul, a highly respected liberal-arts college; Metropolitan State University a "college without walls" offering classes for adult students at locations throughout the Twin Cities; Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD), one of the nation's most respected art schools; and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.
13. Health Care
The location of the Mayo Clinic 129 kilometers (80 miles) to the south in Rochester, Minnesota, has long associated the Twin Cities region with excellence in health care. However, its own facilities and medical personnel are also first rate. The area has 37.3 doctors per 100,000 population. Abbot Northwestern Hospital is the Twin Cities' largest not-for-profit hospital, as well as a major regional medical center. With a staff of 1,300 physicians and 4,500 employees, the hospital provides services to some 180,000 patients annually.
Minneapolis has seven hospitals. Operated by Hennepin County, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), located in downtown Minneapolis, anchors the county's health services system, which also includes a physician group practice, a system of community clinics, and a health maintenance organization (HMO), as well as respected teaching and research programs. In 1998, HCMC had a daily average of 360 filled beds; 104,590 day patients; 317,411 clinic visits; and 87,566 emergency services visits.
The Twin Cities are served by two daily newspapers. The Star Tribune, based in Minneapolis, publishes separate editions for Minneapolis and St. Paul. With a daily circulation of over 400,000 and about 700,000 on Sundays, the Star Tribune offers home delivery throughout the Twin Cities area. The paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for investigative reporting. The St. Paul Pioneer Press is delivered only in the eastern part of the Twin Cities region but available throughout the area in vending machines and at newsstands. It is known particularly for the quality of its feature and sport writing and its unique Bulletin Board section.
Weekly newspapers available in Minneapolis-St. Paul include the American Jewish World, the Asian American Press, the Asian Pages, the Minnesota Women's Press, the Minneapolis Spokesman and St. Paul Recorder, both serving the black community, and two alternative news weeklies, City Pages and the Twin Cities Reader. Business publications include Finance and Commerce, Minneapolis St. Paul City Business. Mpls. St. Paul is a locally distributed monthly magazine. Other magazines of local or regional interest are Corporate Report Minnesota, Minnesota History, Minnesota Monthly, Minnesota Parent, Minnesota Sports, and Minnesota's Journal of Law and Politics. A popular national magazine produced in the region is the Utne Reader.
All the major television networks have affiliated stations in the Twin Cities and several cable firms serve the area, although fewer than 50 percent of households in the area subscribe to cable—one of the lowest rates in the nation. There are over 30 am and FM radio stations in the region. Operator of 27 stations throughout the Midwest and originator of such programs as the popular "Prairie Home Companion" hosted by Garrison Keillor, Minnesota Public Radio has become a major force in the nation's public radio programming. Minnesota is also home to the Public Radio International (formerly American Public Radio) network, which offers an alternative (or complement) to the programs produced by National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.
The Twin Cities support major league baseball, football, and basketball teams. The Minnesota Twins (baseball), 1987 and 1991 World Series champions, drew crowds of nearly one-and-a-half million fans in the 1997 season. Since 1982, the Twins have played their home games in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. (The Mall of America now stands at the site of their former home, Met Stadium.) The Metrodome is also home to the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, who went to the Super Bowl four times between 1969 and 1977. About 700,000 fans annually come to see the Minnesota Timber-wolves play basketball at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, even though the ten-year-old team has yet to deliver a winning season.
The University of Minnesota's sports teams bring the full spectrum of intercollegiate sports to the Twin Cities region and attract a loyal following. Especially popular are men's basketball, hockey, and football, and women's basketball. Auto racing can be viewed at Elko Speedway and Raceway Park; horse racing is held at Canterbury Park; and greyhounds race at St. Croix Meadows.
The Twin Cities are graced with extensive parklands, especially Minneapolis, most of whose 22 lakes are surrounded by public parks. An 88-kilometer (55-mile) series of parkways called "Grand Rounds" connects many of the city's parks. Altogether, Minneapolis has over 170 parks, located on some 2,428 hectares (6,000 acres) of land. Its residents enjoy 120 kilometers (75 miles) of pedestrian, bike, and skate trails. The city's recreational facilities include 396 baseball diamonds, 183 tennis courts, 85 ice rinks, 11 supervised beaches, 124 public golf courses, eight city courses, and 20 private courses. St. Paul has about 1,416 hectares (3,500 acres) of parkland.
17. Performing Arts
The Twin Cities have a rich array of cultural resources. The Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903, has played under the batons of such renowned music directors as Eugene Ormandy, Dmitri Metropoulos, and Sir Neville Marriner. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is a distinguished full-time ensemble of 37, known for both its live performances and recordings. Other musical groups in the region include the Bach Society of Minnesota; the 150-member Minnesota Chorale; and the Minnesota Opera, which presents classic operas and offers classes in opera. Concerts are sponsored by the Minnesota Composers Forum, Plymouth Music Series, the Schubert Club, and the Twin Cities Jazz Society.
Home to the renowned Guthrie Theatre, the Twin Cities have more theaters per capita than any other place in the United States except New York City. Other theater groups include the Children's Theatre Company, the Great American History Theatre, Illusion Theatre, and In the Heart of the Beat Puppet and Mask Theatre. Dance companies include the Minnesota Dance Theatre; the James Sewell Ballet, showcasing the choreography of its director; and the experimental groups Ballet of the Dolls and the Margolis/Brown Company.
Touring performances of all kinds are staged at many venues in the Twin Cities, including the Fitzgerald Theatre (home of the popular National Public Radio program "A Prairie Home Companion"); the Northrup Auditorium; Orchestra Hall on the Nicollet Mall, home of the Minnesota Orchestra; the Ordway Music Theater; the Orpheum Theatre; the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota; State Theatre; and Southern Theater. Large audiences for rock concerts and other events are accommodated by the Target Center in Minneapolis and the St. Paul Civic Center.
The Minneapolis Public Library operates a central library downtown, 14 neighborhood branches, and one book-mobile. In addition, its Municipal Information Library, housed in City Hall, has two-and-a-half million items, including 2,800 periodical subscriptions; its Central Library has the largest collection in the state. The library system had some 400,000 registered borrowers in 1997, who checked out approximately two-and-a-half million books and other items.
The Twin Cities houses several major art collections and more than 50 art galleries. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts houses a collection of over 85,000 art objects, including an excellent Impressionist display and a world-famous Rembrandt painting, and numerous works by nineteenth-and twentieth-century European and American painters. The Walker Art Center is well known for the quality of its contemporary art collection, as well as its presentation of innovative performance programs. The University of Minnesota's Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum houses a mostly modern collection in a dramatic contemporary riverfront building designed by architect Frank Gehry.
The Minnesota History Center in St. Paul displays all things Minnesotan—from the mysteries of grain silo operation to facets of the state's multi-cultural past. Also located in St. Paul are the Science Museum of Minnesota and Minnesota Children's Museum. Specialty museums in Minneapolis include the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, the American Swedish Institute, and the Bakken Library and Museum of Electricity in Life.
Minneapolis has 18 hotels, with a total of 5,027 rooms. The major convention facility, opened in 1990, is the Minneapolis Convention Center, featuring 26,012 square meters (280,000 square feet) of exhibit space topped by three soaring copper domes, as well as a ballroom with proscenium stage for gala events. The convention center is linked to the city's eight-kilometer (five-mile) system of walkways that connects with hotels, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
St. Paul Winter Carnival
St. Patrick's Day Parades
Dayton's-Bachman's Flower Show
Northwest Sports Show
Warehouse District Art Walk
Festival of Nations
International Film Fest
Heart of the Beast May Day Parade & Festival
Scottish Country Fair
Eagle Creek Rendezvous
Main Street Days
Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival
Edina Art Fair
Grand Old Day
Midsommar Celebration and Scandinavian Art Fair
Minnesota Crafts Festival
Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration
Civil War Weekend Live in the Zoo
Alive After Five Concerts
Nicollet Mall Car Classic
Lyn-Lake Street Fair
All-Star Festival of the Blues
Minnesota Heritage Festival
Movies and Music in the Park
Rice Street Festival
A Taste of Minnesota
Twin Cities Ribfest
Grand Prix of Minnesota
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Minnesota State Fair
Powderhorn Festival of the Arts
Uptown Art Fair
Bloomington Jazz Festival
Country Folk Art Show
Fall Festival Horse Show
Oyster & Guinness Festival
Fall Home & Garden Show
Farmers Market on Nicollet Mall
Twin Cities Marathon
Ski Snowmobile & Winter Sports Show
21. Famous Citizens
U.S. Supreme Court justices Warren Burger (b. 1907) and Harry Blackmun (1908–99).
Author Robert Bly (b. 1926).
Filmmakers Joel (b. 1954) and Ethan Coen (b. 1957).
Aviatrix Amelia Earhart (1897–1937).
The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940).
Comedian and political satirist Al Franken (b. 1951).
Industrialist and billionaire J. Paul Getty (1892–1976).
Senator, Vice President, and Democratic presidential candidate Hubert H. Humphrey (1911–78).
Radio personality and author Garrison Keillor (b. 1942).
U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale (b. 1928).
Singer Prince Rogers Nelson (the Artist Formerly Known as Prince) (b. 1958).
Newscaster Harry Reasoner (b. 1923).
Cartoonist Charles Schulz (1922–2000), creator of the Peanuts comic strip.
Longtime NAACP director Roy Wilkins (1901–81).
Author Meridel Le Sueur (1900–96).
Journalist Eric Sevareid (1912–92).
Actress Lea Thompson (b. 1961).
Minneapolis City Net. [Online] Available http://www.city.net/countries/united_states/minnesota/minneapolis (accessed October 14, 1999).
Minneapolis-St. Paul City Guide. [Online] Available http://www.tgimaps.com/marketplace/cityguide (accessed October 14, 1999).
Twin Cities Global Connection. [Online] Available http://www.tcglobal.com/ (accessed October 14, 1999).
Twin Cities Internet Guide & Directory. [Online] Available http://www.tcigd.com/ (accessed October 14, 1999).
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Minneapolis Planning Department
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Tourist and Convention Bureaus
Greater Minneapolis Convention
and Visitors Bureau
33 S. 6th St., Multifoods Tower
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Corporate Report Minnesota
105 S. 5th St., Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415
220 S 6th St., Suite 500
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Minneapolis-St. Paul City Business
527 Arquette Ave., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55402
425 Portland Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55488
Adams, John S., and Barbara J. Van Drasek. Minneapolis-St. Paul: People, Place, and Public Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
Arthur, Lindsay G., and Jean Arthur. Twin Cities Uncovered. Plano, TX: Seaside Press, 1996.
Borchert, John R., et al. Legacy of Minneapolis:Preservation Amid Change. Bloomington, MN: Voyageur, 1983.
DeGroot, Barbara, and Jack El-Hai. The Insiders' Guide to the Twin Cities. St. Paul, MN: St. Paul Press, 1995.
Fairbanks, Evelyn. The Days of Rondo. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990.
Kunz, Virginia Brainard. St. Paul, A Modern Renaissance. Northridge, CA: Windsor Publications, 1986.
Millett, Larry. Twin Cities Then and Now. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1996.
Millett, Larry. Lost Twin Cities. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1992.
Nyberg, Joan. A Rustling of Wings: An Angelic Guide to the Twin Cities. St. Paul: Wingtip Press, 1994.
Smith, Robert Tighe. Minneapolis-St. Paul: The Cities, Their People. Helena, MT: American Geographic, 1988.
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Manufacturing is the primary industry in Minneapolis's diversified economic base. Principal manufacturing areas are electronics, milling, machinery, medical products, food processing, and graphic arts. Sixteen of the Fortune 500 largest U.S. corporations are headquartered in the Twin Cities, which is among the largest commercial centers between Chicago and the West Coast. The area is also home to 30 Fortune 1000 companies and several of the world's largest private companies.
Also integral to the local economy are high-technology industries. With the University of Minnesota and other colleges and technical schools providing applied research and well-trained scientists and engineers, one of the largest concentrations of high-technology firms in the nation—more than 1,300—developed in metropolitan Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
Among the banks and other financial institutions that make the Twin Cities the financial center of the upper Midwest, seven of the largest are based in Minneapolis. In addition, the headquarters of the Ninth Federal Reserve District Bank is located in the city. Local banks, savings and loan companies, venture capital concerns, and insurance companies play a major role in the economic development of the region.
Items and goods produced: electronics, food and dairy products, super computers, structural steel, thermostatic controls, conveyor systems, medical electronics equipment, farm machinery, ball bearings, tools, construction machinery, boilers, tanks, burglar alarms, underwear and hosiery, packaging, garden tools, lawn mowers, sprinklers
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
The Twin Cities area offers a variety of programs for new and expanding businesses.
The Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA), the development arm of the City of Minneapolis, provides a host of affordable financing packages and site-search assistance for businesses expanding in or relocating to Minneapolis. As an authorized agent for the federal Small Business Administration, the MCDA can combine federal small business financing with Minneapolis' own unique finance tools to help companies grow. MCDA business experts help businesses realize their goals from preliminary negotiations to closing. BusinessLink is a one-stop business service center located at the MCDA.
State business tax incentives include research and development credits, foreign income deductions, and sales tax exemptions and reductions. In addition the state of Minnesota offers, through a network of five job-training programs, assistance to businesses in locating and training employees.
Job training programs
The Minneapolis Employment and Training Program (METP), a service of the City of Minneapolis, offers a variety of training and job placement services for youth, adult, and mature workers as well as dislocated and welfare workers.
Fueling the local economy is the redevelopment of downtown Minneapolis. Since the expansion of the now-famous Nicollet Mall in the 1980s and the initiation of the innovative skyway system, billions of dollars have been invested in construction projects. The Franklin-Portland Gateway is a phased multi-use development; the first phase was completed in April 2004 and included rental and ownership residential units as well as the four-story community and education Children's Village Center. Future phases will add an additional 65 rental units, 13 ownership units, and 14,000 square feet of commercial-use space. Nearly $10 million of city-assisted financing have made the Augustana Chapel View Homes a reality; Minneapolis seniors are welcomed home in this rental and nursing facility. The Boulevard is a mixed-use affordable living center with more than 60,000 square feet of community space. In 2006 a new Central Minneapolis Public Library will open in downtown Minneapolis. Voters approved spending $110 million to build the main library; an additional $30 million will aid community improvements at the library's 14 branches.
Economic expansion and construction activity have placed a strain on the city's transportation infrastructure; to address that issue, more than $1 billion in road improvement projects will take place over several years. The Hiawatha Light Rail opened to travelers in 2004; future expansion will make it into a 13-mile line that will connect downtown Minneapolis with Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington. Planning is complete for a regional rail route, the Northstar Corridor, which will connect St. Cloud with Minneapolis using an existing 40-mile freight corridor. The $265 million project is projected to be in service in late 2008.
The city completed a $175 million expansion of the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2002. The expansion added 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, making the center one of the 20 largest in the country. The new section includes 190,000 square feet of exhibition space, with 60,000 square feet of that space divisible into 44 individual meeting rooms, and a 3,400 seat auditorium.
Economic Development Information: Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Building, Young Quinlan Building, 81 South Ninth Street, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55402; telephone (612)370-9100; fax (612)370-9195; email [email protected]
An important factor in the Minneapolis economy is the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, which is served by 16 cargo carriers and air-freight forwarders. The airport handles more than 170,000 tons of freight yearly. The Twin Cities area is also linked with major United States and Canadian markets via a network of four railroad companies.
Considered one of the largest trucking centers in the nation, Minneapolis-Saint Paul is served by 150 motor freight companies that provide overnight and four- to five-day delivery in the Midwest and major markets in the continental United States. Vital to the Twin Cities' role as a primary transportation hub is the port of Minneapolis, which together with the port of Saint Paul processes annually more than 11 million tons of cargo to and from domestic and foreign markets.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
The Twin Cities boasts an educated work force; 24.3 percent of people 25 years old or older have four or more years of college. Unemployment in the Twin Cities remained low in the early 2000s. Companies are expanding rapidly and there is considerable competition for skilled workers especially in the areas of healthcare and technical positions, social services, personal care, construction, and computer professions.
The suburban Mall of America, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, has a significant economic impact. The Twin Cities' economy is keeping pace with, and in some cases surging ahead of the national economy. Some of the leading industries are medical instrument and supplies manufacturing, printing and publishing, transportation equipment, computer and data processing services, finance, and engineering and management services. In 2005, BestJobsUSA.com selected Minneapolis one of the Top 20 Best Places to Live & Work in America.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, 2004 annual average:
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 1,738,000
Number of workers employed in . . .
mining and construction: 82,800
transportation and utilities: 335,900
financial activities: 140,500
professional and business services: 245,900
educational and health services: 216,100
leisure and hospitality: 154,500
other services: 75,800
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $17.59
Unemployment rate: 4.2% (February 2005)
|Largest employers (Twin Cities area)||Number of employees|
|State of Minnesota||55,294|
|University of Minnesota||29,498|
|Fairview Health Services||18,700|
Cost of Living
The Twin Cities region has one of the lowest costs of living among the 25 largest cities in the United States.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Minneapolis area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $296,846
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 109.3 (Minneapolis/St. Paul) (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 5.35% to 7.85%
State sales tax rate: 6.5%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 0.5%
Property tax rate: $118.42 per $1,000 assessed value (2005)
Economic Information: Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Young Quinlan Building, 81 South Ninth Street, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55402; telephone (612)370-9100
Sightseeing in Minneapolis might begin with the Chain of Lakes—Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet—just a few miles west of downtown; in all, 16 lakes are located within the city limits and more than 1,000 are in close proximity. Minnehaha Falls, the point at which Minnehaha Creek plunges into the Mississippi River, was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem The Song of Hiawatha. A life-size statue of Hiawatha holding his wife Minnehaha is located on an island just above the falls.
For those with an interest in Minneapolis's historical roots, the American Swedish Institute maintains a turn-of-the-century 33-room mansion that displays Swedish immigrant artifacts as well as traveling exhibits. The Ard Godrey House, built in 1849 and the oldest existing frame house in the city, features authentic period furnishings. Minneapolis's early history and development are captured at the Hennepin History Museum.
Fort Snelling, a historic landmark dating from 1820 overlooking Fort Snelling State Park, has been restored to its frontier-era appearance and is open six months a year. At the Minnesota Zoo, seven trails lead to exhibits in natural settings. The Minneapolis Planetarium, with a 40-foot dome, projects over 2,000 stars. More than 1,000 acres cultivated with numerous varieties of trees, flowers, and shrubs make up the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Arts and Culture
In both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, business and the arts go hand-in-hand. The Five Percent Club consists of local businesses and corporations that donate five percent of their pretax earnings to the arts, education, or human services. This investment results in such high-quality institutions as the Guthrie Theater, named for Sir Tyrone Guthrie, which ranks as one of the best regional and repertory theater companies in the United States. The Walker Art Center exhibits progressive modern art in an award-winning building designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, which has been judged among the best art exhibition facilities in the world. The center, housing a permanent collection that represents major twentieth-century movements, also sponsors a program of music, dance, film, theater, and educational activities.
The Minnesota Orchestra, performing at Orchestra Hall on Nicollet Mall and at Ordway Music Theater in Saint Paul, presents a season of concerts that includes a great performers series, the weekender series, a pop series, and a summer festival. Family holiday concerts are performed at Christmas time. The Minnesota Opera performs traditional and new works at the Ordway theater in Saint Paul. Touring Broadway musicals and musical stars perform at the restored Orpheum Theater. The Children's Theater Company offers a world-class theater education program for young people. International theater professionals work with student actors and technicians to present productions of the highest quality. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, adjacent to the Walker Art Center, was designed by landscape architect Peter Rothschild; it consists of four symmetrical square plazas that display more than 55 works by Henry Moore, George Segal, and Deborah Butterfield, among others. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts showcases world art in a collection of more than 100,000 objects from every period and culture.
Festivals and Holidays
Minneapolis celebrates March with a St. Patrick's Day Parade and a Spring Flower Show. The Minneapolis Aquatennial, established in 1940, is a 10-day extravaganza held in late July with a special theme each year; the Aquatennial Association programs over 250 free events that focus on the city's proximity to water. Many Minneapolis festivals honor the city's Scandinavian heritage. Other festivals celebrate ethnic cultures with music, dance, food, arts, and crafts. Uptown Art Fair, one of the largest such events in the country, is held on a weekend in early August.
Sports for the Spectator
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is home to two of the city's major sports franchises; the Minnesota Twins of the Central Division of baseball's American League and the Minnesota Vikings of the Central Division of the National Football League play their home games in this domed stadium, conveniently located downtown. The National Basketball Association's Timberwolves play at the Target Center. Women's National Basketball Association team the Minnesota Lynx came to the Twin Cities in 2000. Sports fans can also attend major and minor sporting events at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, which fields Big Ten teams like the Gophers, who play to sellout crowds.
Sports for the Participant
Minneapolis is one of the country's most naturally beautiful cities, enhanced by 107 playgrounds, 8 community centers, 7 municipal golf links, and 16 lakes within the city limits. The abundance of easily accessible water makes possible a full range of water sports and activities in both summer and winter. Four thousand acres of city park land are available for swimming, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, roller-skating, and biking along with softball, tennis, and golf; about 136,900 acres of land are set aside in the Twin Cities region for parks, trails, and wildlife management areas. Winter sports include skating, skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.
Shopping and Dining
Minneapolis is the originator on a grand scale of the "second floor city" concept, integrating essentially two downtowns—a sidewalk-level traditional downtown and a second city joined by an elaborate skywalk system. Nicollet Mall, completed in 1967, redefined the urban downtown and eliminated the element of weather as a deterrent to the shopper. This all-weather skywalk system connects an indoor shopping center whose four major department stores and hundreds of specialty shops cover 34 city blocks. Shopping activity is also a part of the City Center mall, undergoing renovations in 2005. St. Anthony Main, along the historic Mississippi riverfront, consists of old warehouses and office buildings converted to a shopping center. Suburban Bloomington is home to the largest mall in North America, the Mall of America.
Elegant dining is possible at The 510 Restaurant, Goodfellow's, and Rosewood Room, named by Food and Wine magazine as Distinguished Restaurants of North America. Dinner cruises on the Mississippi River are offered during the summer.
Visitor Information: The Greater Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Center, 250 Marquette South, Ste 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55402; telephone (612)335-5827 or (800)445-7412
Falls Provide Townsite and Waterpower
The area where Minneapolis is now located was farmed and hunted by the Sioux tribe before the arrival of Father Louis Hennepin, a French Franciscan missionary who explored the Mississippi River in 1680. Father Hennepin discovered the future site of Minneapolis at a waterfall on the navigable head of the Mississippi River; the falls, which he named after St. Anthony, have since played a crucial role in the city's development. Permanent settlement came in 1820, when Federal troops under the command of Colonel Josiah Snelling built Fort St. Anthony on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. Renamed Fort Snelling in 1825, it safeguarded fur traders from the warring Sioux and Chippewa and served as a trading center and outpost to the Upper Midwest.
The St. Anthony Falls provided the source of power for lumber and flour milling, the two industries that fueled the city's rapid growth. Soldiers built the first flour mill in 1823 and the first commercial sawmill was in operation in 1841. Attracting settlers from New England, particularly lumbermen from Maine, the rich land was ready for settlement. A geographical fault discovered at the falls in 1869 nearly led to economic disaster and the demise of these industries, but an apron built with federal funding secured the source of waterpower and helped the city to grow in wealth and prosperity.
In 1849 the village of All Saints was founded on the west side of the falls and nine years later settlers who squatted on U.S. military reservation land were awarded land rights. Also in 1855, the village of St. Anthony on the east side of the falls was incorporated. In 1856 the name of All Saints was changed to Minneapolis, which was derived from the Sioux "minne" for water and the Greek "polis" for city. St. Anthony was chartered as a city in 1860 and Minneapolis six years later. Then in 1872 the two cities become one, spanning both sides of the Mississippi River, with the name of the larger being retained.
Flour, Lumber Industries Attract New Residents
Immigrants from Northern Europe, particularly Sweden but also Norway, Denmark, and Finland, flocked to Minneapolis to work in the new industries. A shoemaker named Nils Nyberg is credited as being the first Swede to settle, having arrived in St. Anthony in 1851. The wave of Scandinavian immigration after the Civil War was felt in every aspect of life in Minneapolis.
In one short generation Minneapolis emerged as a great American city. The original New England settlers platted the streets to reflect order and prosperity, with the boulevards lined with oak and elm trees. The Mississippi River divided the city and served as the focal point of the street grid. The city's rapid population growth and booming economy were attributable in part to the perfection of the Purifer, a flour-sifting device, that made possible the production of high-quality flour from inexpensive spring wheat and led to the construction of large flour mills.
A mill explosion in 1878 that destroyed half the flour mill district prompted residents to research methods to reduce mill dust. Minnesota emerged as the world's leading flour-milling center by 1882. Steam-powered machinery propelled the lumber industry and during the period 1899 to 1905 Minneapolis was the world's foremost producer of lumber. Production was so high that logs actually jammed the river from the timberlands of the north in 1899. Minneapolis became a rail transportation center during this period, further contributing to economic prosperity.
Progressive Programs Revitalize City
The lumber industry in Minneapolis declined once the great forest lands of the north were exhausted, and the large milling companies were forced to relocate some of their plants in other cities to combat the high cost of transportation, which further hurt the economy. After World War II Minneapolis rebounded and became a national leader in the manufacture of computers, electronic equipment, and farm machinery. It established a reputation as a progressive city, undertaking an ambitious urban development project that improved the downtown core and revitalized the economic base. The innovative Nicollet Mall, with a skywalk system, was one of the first of its kind in a major city. Minneapolis and its twin city, Saint Paul, emerged as one of the nation's fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the 1960s and 1970s. By the end of the century, the area continued its growth, ranking as the eighth fastest growing in the country.
Minneapolis embraces continued growth and beautification in the twenty-first century. Leveraging its early roots in the flour milling and lumber industry the city has become the home of such major corporations as General Mills, International MultiFoods, and Anderson Windows as well as attracting growth in the technology and healthcare services fields. Development of sporting venues and cleanup of the city's brownfields add to the appeal of living in the Twin Cities area; Minneapolis's successful transformation has inspired other cities to find solutions to the problems of urban decay.
Historical Information: Hennepin History Museum Library, 2303 Third Avenue, South, Minneapolis, MN 55404; telephone (612)870-1329. Minnesota Historical Society, 345 Kellogg Blvd. West, Saint Paul, MN 55102-1906; telephone (651)296-6126
Minneapolis: Education and Research
Minneapolis: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Minneapolis Public Schools, the largest school district in Minnesota, provides students with a truly international education that will better prepare them for life in a global community. Students in the districts who are currently learning English also speak one of 90 other languages in their home. Families may choose community or magnet schools, with at least 10 school options available for kindergarten families and more than 15 programs available for high school students. Ninety-eight percent of incoming kindergarten families receive their first choice. The district introduced all-day kindergarten in 2001.
While many districts are cutting funding for arts programs, 35 Minneapolis Public Schools have received a $10 million Annenberg Challenge Grant to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum, a strategy that has been shown to improve academic achievement. Middle school students benefit from a $650,000 grant from the Medtronic Foundation that is revitalizing the kindergarten through fifth grade science program. Nearly $10 million from the Walling family makes college scholarships available for Minneapolis Public School seniors to further their education in college.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Minneapolis public schools as of the 2002–2003 school year.
Total enrollment: 43,429 (excludes charter schools)
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 63
middle schools: 8
senior high schools: 7
other: 6 special education schools; 31 alternative schools
Student/teacher ratio: 18.4:1
Funding per pupil: $10,226 (actual expenditures, 2003)
Hennepin County is served by 45 private schools offering alternative educational curricula.
Public Schools Information: Minneapolis Public Schools, 807 Northeast Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55413-2398; telephone (612)668-0000.
Colleges and Universities
The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, a state institution with an enrollment of more than 45,000 full-time students, is located in Minneapolis. The university ranks among the nation's top 20 universities. Five degree levels—baccalaureate, first-professional, master's, intermediate, and doctorate—are available in 250 fields, including architecture, medicine, engineering, journalism, management, teacher education, public health, and music. Former students and faculty members have been awarded 12 Nobel Prizes in physics, medicine, chemistry, economics, and peace.
Augsburg College and North Central Bible College, private religious institutions, award associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees. The Minneapolis College of Art and Design offers four-year programs in fine and applied arts. Community and technical colleges in the metropolitan area include Minneapolis Community College, Minneapolis Technical College, and Hennepin Technical College.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Minneapolis Public Library operates a Central Library and 14 branches. The Central Library has the largest collection of any public library in Minnesota. In 2000 a $140 million referendum was passed for the building of a new Central Library and improvements to all 14 branches over a 10-year period. In 2002 the Central Library collection was moved to a branch location for the rebuilding of the new Central Library, opening spring 2006. The new, $110 million, five-story facility will house more books and computers, community spaces, a gallery, a proposed planetarium, and other features.
The University of Minnesota Libraries—Twin Cities, also located in Minneapolis, have total holdings of more than 6 million volumes in major academic departments and more than 36,000 periodical subscriptions. Special collections include literature on ballooning, the Hess Dime Novel Collection, the Charles Babbage Institute, and the Performing Arts Archives. The library is a depository for federal and state documents. The Immigration History Research Center at the university houses one of the nation's most comprehensive collections of the immigrant past.
More than 70 special libraries and research centers serve the city. Most are affiliated with state and county government agencies, businesses and corporations, hospitals, churches and synagogues, and arts organizations.
Public Library Information: Minneapolis Public Library, 250 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401; telephone (612)630-6000; fax (612)630-6210
Approaching the City
Located southeast of downtown Minneapolis, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is in the midst of a three-phase, $860 million expansion in 2005. In 2004, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was named Best Airport in the Americas and Best Domestic Airport by the International Air Transport Association and Airports Council International. The airport is served by ten major domestic carriers. Six reliever airports are also located in the metropolitan area. Amtrak runs a major east-west line from Chicago and the East into Saint Paul.
Two major interstate highways serve Minneapolis: I-94 (east-west) and I-35W (north-south). Two belt-line freeways, I-494 and I-694, facilitate travel around the Twin-City suburbs. Seven federal and 13 state highways link the city with points throughout the United States and Canada.
Traveling in the City
Minneapolis is laid out on a grid pattern, with streets south of Grant Street intersecting on a north-south axis and those north of Grant running diagonally northeast-southwest. Residents think of their hometown as made up of five major parts: North Side, South Side, Northeast, Southeast, and downtown, each with its own distinct character and attractions. The Minneapolis Skywalk System connects major downtown public buildings and retail establishments with elevated, covered walkways. There are also smaller communities such as Uptown on the South Side and Dinkytown on the edge of the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus.
Serving Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and the surrounding suburbs is the Metropolitan Council Transit Operations (MCTO), the second-largest bus system in the United States. Additional bus service is provided by five private operators, including Gray Line, which conducts sightseeing tours, stopping at Nicollet Mall and at various hotels in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The city is noted for efficiency of commuting time: the freeway system, moderate population density, and two central business districts contribute to high levels of mobility during peak and non-peak hours.
In 2004 the first route of the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit (LRT) was opened to the public; the light rail will be developed to include 13 miles or rail along Hiawatha Avenue taking passengers into downtown Minneapolis, the airport, and the Mall of America.
Minneapolis (mĬn´ēăp´əlĬs), city (1990 pop. 368,383), seat of Hennepin co., E Minn., at the head of navigation on the Mississippi River, at St. Anthony Falls; inc. 1856. The largest city in the state and a port of entry, it is a major industrial and rail hub. With adjacent St. Paul (the two are known as the Twin Cities), it is the processing, distribution, and trade center for a vast grain and cattle area. Minneapolis is also a banking and financial center with a significant high-technology industry. Chief among the many manufactures are food products, electronic equipment, instruments, graphic art products, machinery, fabricated metals, chemicals, and textiles. Although the central city's population has declined since the 1970s, the suburbs have grown. An influx of African Americans and immigrants began to change the city's racial composition in the 1990s.
The falls were visited by Louis Hennepin in 1683; Fort Snelling was established in 1819; and a sawmill was built at the falls in 1821. The village of St. Anthony was settled c.1839 on the east side of the river near the falls. Minneapolis originated on the river's west side c.1847 and included much of the reservation of Fort Snelling. It annexed St. Anthony in 1872. The city became the country's foremost lumber center, and after the plains were planted with wheat and the railroads were built, flour milling developed, with the 50-ft (15-m) falls supplying power.
The city was laid out with wide streets and has 22 lakes and 153 parks. Of interest are Fort Snelling State Park, several art galleries and museums (including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Museum, and the American Swedish Institute), the Guthrie Theater, and the grain exchange. Minneapolis also has several noteworthy skyscrapers, including those by Cesar Pelli and by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. In Minnehaha Park is the Stevens House (1849), the city's first frame house. The city's main shopping avenue is a 10-block mall lined with trees and flowers, with a skyway system of walks for pedestrians. The Minnesota Orchestra was founded there in 1903. The city is the seat of the Univ. of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The Minnesota Twins (baseball), Timberwolves (basketball), and Vikings (football) are the city's professional sports teams.
See C. R. Walker, American City, (1937, repr. 1971); L. M. Kane, The Fall of St. Anthony: The Waterfall That Built Minneapolis (1987).
Minneapolis: Population Profile
Minneapolis: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 19.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 17th
U.S. rank in 2000: 16th
2003 estimate: 373,188
Percent change, 1990–2000: 3.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 34th
U.S. rank in 1990: 47th
U.S. rank in 2000: 45th
Density: 6,970.3 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 68,818
American Indian and Alaska Native: 8,378
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 289
Hispanic (may be of any race): 29,175
Percent of residents born in state: 52% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 25,187
Population 5 to 9 years old: 23,960
Population 10 to 14 years old: 22,291
Population 15 to 19 years old: 26,866
Population 20 to 24 years old: 40,953
Population 25 to 34 years old: 78,978
Population 35 to 44 years old: 60,904
Population 45 to 54 years old: 45,961
Population 55 to 59 years old: 13,199
Population 60 to 64 years old: 9,441
Population 65 to 74 years old: 15,332
Population 75 to 84 years old: 13,172
Population 85 years and over: 6,374
Median age: 31.2 years
Total number (Hennepin County): 16,440
Total number (Hennepin County): 7,752 (of which, 65 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $22,685
Median household income: $37,974
Total households: 162,382
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 17,543
$10,000 to $14,999: 11,031
$15,000 to $24,999: 23,063
$25,000 to $34,999: 22,957
$35,000 to $49,999: 27,374
$50,000 to $74,999: 28,990
$75,000 to $99,999: 14,607
$100,000 to $149,999: 10,528
$150,000 to $199,999: 2,821
$200,000 or more: 3,468
Percent of families below poverty level: 11.9% (44.2% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 26,630
Newspapers and Magazines
The major daily newspaper in Minneapolis is the Star Tribune. Several neighborhood and suburban newspapers are distributed weekly in the city.
Mpls. St.Paul is a magazine focusing on metropolitan life in the Twin Cites. A popular publication with a national distribution is The Utne Reader. Other special interest magazines based in Minneapolis pertain to such subjects as religion, aviation, business, entertainment, hunting and conservation, minority issues, medicine, politics, and computers.
Television and Radio
Four television stations broadcast out of Minneapolis, as do two cable stations. Radio listeners can choose from 17 AM and FM stations. Programming includes ethnic music, jazz, gospel, classical music, easy listening, and news and public affairs.
Media Information: Star Tribune, 425 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415; telephone (612)673-4000; toll-free (800)827-8742
BusinessLink, Minneapolis Community Development Agency home page. Available www.mcda.org
Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce home page. Available www.minneapolischamber.org
Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association home page. Available www.minneapolis.org/gmcva
Hennepin History Museum home page. Available www.hhmuseum.org/index.htm
Mall of America home page. Available www.mallofamerica.com
Minneapolis Public Library home page. Available www.mpls.lib.mn.us
Minneapolis Public Schools home page. Available www.mpls.k12.mn.us
Minnesota Historical Society home page. Available www.mnhs.org
Star Tribune home page. Available www.startribune.com
Carlson, Peggie, The Girls Are Coming (Midwest Reflections) (Minnesota Historical Society)
Millett, Larry, Lost Twin Cities (Minnesota Historical Society)
Weiner, Jay, Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles (University of Minnesota Press, 2000)
Minneapolis: Geography and Climate
Minneapolis: Population Profile
Minneapolis: Municipal Government
Minneapolis: Education and Research
Minneapolis: Health Care
Minneapolis: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1849 (incorporated, 1866)
Head Official: Mayor R. T. Rybak (D) (since 2002)
2003 estimate: 373,188
Percent change, 1990–2000: 3.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 34th
U.S. rank in 1990: 42nd
U.S. rank in 2000: 45th
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 19.6%
U.S. rank in 1990: 17th
U.S. rank in 2000: 16th
Area: 54.9 square miles (2000)
Elevation: Ranges from 687 feet to 1,060 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 44.7° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 26.36 inches
Major Economic Sectors: Services, trade, manufacturing, government
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (February 2005)
Per Capita Income: $22,685 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 26,630
Major Colleges and Universities: University of Minnesota–Twin Cities; University of St. Thomas-Minneapolis
Daily Newspaper: Star Tribune