Minneapolis

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Minneapolis

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).

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