Location and General Characteristics
Downtown East is located in the center of the city. The neighborhood is bound in the north by the Mississippi River, in the west by Portland Avenue South, in the east by Interstate 35W and in the south by Fifth Street South. It contains mainly recreational land including the Metrodome plus commercial, industrial and vacant land. Only a very small portion of this neighborhood is dedicated to residential housing, but housing is being built at record levels. Downtown East houses the Mill City Museum, with the new Guthrie Theater opening in the summer of 2006. Along the waterfront, the city has built a park themed on the history of Minneapolis incorporating mill ruins and featuring the Mill City Museum. The park extends beyond the neighborhood. Many of the old mills and factories have been converted into residential or commercial uses.
The Washburn A Mill was by the mid-19th century the most technologically advanced mill in the world. Obsolete by 1965, however, it closed and sat vacant for many years. In 1991 the building was nearly destroyed by fire. The City of Minneapolis cleaned up the rubble and fortified the charred walls of the mill in the late 1990s. Shortly thereafter, the Minnesota Historical Society announced plans to develop Mill City Museum, cleverly incorporating the ruins into the new structure. The museum opened in 2003.
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011