The ideas will flow Thurs., Dec. 15, when the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board invite the public to participate in a “designer-ask” community meeting about a potential new park along the city’s Central Riverfront.
Dubbed “Water Works” (former Fuji-Ya Restaurant site) because the city’s first water supply and fire fighting pumping stations were located there in the 19th Century, the site encompasses Minneapolis Park Board-owned land between Portland Avenue South and the Third Avenue Bridge, and between First Street South and the Mississippi River.
The community meeting, which takes place 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mill City Museum, 704 South Second Street, is the first step in a preliminary feasibility study that will explore options for what could be a significant new park destination in downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is leading the project in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, for which it is also a forerunner to the Central Riverfront Regional Park Update master planning process.
Mill City-based architects Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) are the lead designers on the project. Together with financing consultants HR&A Advisors, they will produce design and program options and financial analysis by February 2012.
“The Water Works site and riverfront area are important for the convergence of Central Riverfront destinations, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, lock and dam, and the Mill City Museum,” says Mary deLaittre, President of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which is funding the project through a private donation. “Because of the site’s historic and national significance, it’s important that we complete an interdisciplinary study of the site and area within the current social, economic and environmental context, and its compelling geography and history, including ruins of long-razed flourmills.”
The public will be invited to a second community meeting in late February, to critique options and review the team’s findings. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation will announce details about that meeting in January 2012.
For regular updates on the Waterworks project, community members can visit the Minneapolis Parks Foundation website athttp://MplsParksFoundation.org. The public can also learn more about other Parks Foundation design and development projects and explore Foundation-supported parks programming and events, and the benefits of membership.
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation – a key funding and inspirational partner of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board – isfocused on the Next Generation of Parks™, with an emphasis on areas of opportunity in park development including education, innovation and implementation. Beginning in 2010, MPF co-sponsored the globally renowned Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition, the largest in the state’s history. In 2011, MPF projects included introducing BioHaven floating islands to Spring Lake, the recently opened 4th Avenue Playground along the Upper Riverfront, and more.