When most people here the phrase, “historic district,” it brings to mind a regentrified neighborhood with homes in the Queen Anne or Craftsman style and volunteers offering home tours and cookbook sales.
The St. Anthony Falls Historic District is quite a different historic district. St. Anthony Falls is the highest waterfall on the Mississippi River, located in Hennepin County next to downtown Minneapolis. Spanning both banks of the Mississippi River, this historic district’s properties tell the story of the area as seen from the perspective of the falls – and how each subsequent group of inhabitants have perceived them.
For Native Americans, the falls had a powerful spiritual significance. For early European and American explorers, the falls were a landmark and interesting geological phenomenon. During the 19th century, entrepreneurs used the falls to power lumber and flour mills. Settlers, tourists and artists were drawn to the falls’ beauty – until they were converted to a series of dams. Barges and boats now pass through locks to navigate past the falls.
Today, St. Anthony Falls and the artifacts they contain are in danger of falling victim to construction projects on both public and private land, instead of being preserved as a piece of Minnesota history. Sadly, the falls have been named one of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s “10 Most Endangered Historic Places.”
Hennepin County was named after explorer Father Louis Hennepin, who discovered St. Anthony Falls. Hennepin County is by far the most populous county in Minnesota; more than one in five Minnesotans live here. If you are looking for apartments in Hennepin County, you’ll be living in one of the busiest and most dynamic counties in the state.
The county is home to a number of cities including Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, and Bloomington. The Mall of America, big enough to hold 32 Boeing 747s, is located on the former site of the Metropolitan Stadium. The mall provides Minnesota more jobs per capita than either St. Paul or Minneapolis.