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“Built into the ruins of an old mill”
Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis. Originally designed by Austrian engineer William de la Barre and declared the world's largest flour mill after its completion in 1880, the structure housing Mill City Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Known as the Washburn A Mill, it was nearly destroyed by fire in 1991. After the City of Minneapolis, working through the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, cleaned up the rubble and fortified the mill's charred walls, the Minnesota Historical Society announced plans to construct a milling museum and education center within the ruins. Faced with the challenge of preserving the ruins of this historically significant site while building a modern museum, the Society turned to Thomas Meyer, principal of Minneapolis architectural firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. Meyer developed a concept that melded the historic integrity of the mill structures with modern components. Construction on the museum began in March 2001. When possible, Meyer's design has left intact many features of the original mill, including flour bins, milling machinery, the engine house, rail corridor and a wheat house. He also has used limestone, brick, concrete and steel within the museum to emphasize its industrial origins. Among the new architectural features is an eight-story glass facade overlooking the Mississippi River. True-to-scale graphics of the milling machines are featured on the glass façade to give visitors an idea of how massive the milling operation was. The facade forms a reflective backdrop for the courtyard a 100-by-100 foot outdoor area with weathered masonry walls, that was created by the 1991 fire. Ruins of the historic mill are showcased in the courtyard through significant excavation efforts.
Mill City Museum was a super cool museum that I visited a few months ago with my brother. We are both adults, but this museum has plenty to offer for both children and adults. This museum walks... Read more
The museum is located on the bank of Mississippi River at the remains of the Washburn A Mill which was the largest mill in the world. The museum displays many of the original equipment and offers... Read more
We absolutely love Mill City Museum, so much so that we joined this year and visit a couple times per month. Other than maybe wanting them to open a bit earlier on weekends, we could not be... Read more
Mill City Museum
- Sun, Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thu, Fri: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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