Water Works Comprehensive Cultural Resources Planning

Minneapolis, MN
The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board has developed a pivotal riverfront park in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, the birthplace of the city. The mill remnants are part of a complex historic landscape that has been incorporated into an exciting and unique design featuring new buildings and vibrant open space. The mill ruins and partial deconstruction of the iconic Fuji Ya building required balance between new development and historic preservation opportunities.
106 Group led the cultural heritage planning for this project that included archaeology, documentation of community histories, and interpretation. Hidden stories of Native American and African American communities that were uncovered during the planning stages influenced the design and programming elements for this urban revitalization project. In addition, our archaeologists monitored construction at the site to minimize potential impacts to cultural resources.
Our research expands current understanding of the milling site, revealing new information about the place’s significance across many cultures. One visible outcome of the cultural heritage planning conversations is Owamni, the new restaurant by The Sioux Chef. The dine-in and take-out restaurant, as well as programming in the Water Works Park Pavilion and on the grounds will foster greater understanding of Native American cultures and support a vibrant Indigenous food movement.
“I really appreciate all of your insight and suggestions. I am very glad we are working with your team on this!”
- Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Member