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 Minneapolis, Minnesota


 

Minneapolis

(pronounced /?m?ni'æp?l?s/) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Hennepin County.[5] The city lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital. Known as the Twin Cities, these two form the core of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the 13th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with 3.5 million residents.[2] The Metropolitan Council estimated the city's population was 390,131 in 2009.[6]

The city is abundantly rich in water with over twenty lakes and wetlands, the Mississippi river, creeks and waterfalls, many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Minneapolis was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber, and today is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle.[7] Named America's most literate city,[8] Minneapolis has cultural organizations that draw creative people and audiences to the city for theater, visual art, writing, and music. The community's diverse population has a long tradition of charitable support through progressive public social programs and through private and corporate philanthropy.[9]

The name Minneapolis is attributed to the city's first schoolmaster, who combined mni, the Dakota word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city.[10][11] Minneapolis is nicknamed the "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City".[7]

History

Little Crow in three quarter height view wearing a headress with three feathers and carrying a spear [12]
Taoyateduta was among the 121 Sioux leaders who from 1837 to 1851 ceded what is now Minneapolis.

Dakota Sioux were the region's sole residents until French explorers arrived around 1680. Nearby Fort Snelling, built in 1819 by the United States Army, spurred growth in the area. The United States Government pressed the Mdewakanton band of the Dakota to sell their land, allowing people arriving from the east to settle there. The Minnesota Territorial Legislature authorized present day Minneapolis as a town on the Mississippi's west bank in 1856. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867, the year rail service began between Minneapolis and Chicago. It later joined with the east bank city of St. Anthony in 1872.[13]

Minneapolis grew up around Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi. Millers have used hydropower since the 1st century B.C.,[14] but the results in Minneapolis between 1880 and 1930 were so remarkable the city has been described as "the greatest direct-drive waterpower center the world has ever seen."[15] In early years, forests in northern Minnesota were the source of a lumber industry that operated seventeen sawmills on power from the waterfall. By 1871, the west river bank had twenty-three businesses including flour mills, woolen mills, iron works, a railroad machine shop, and mills for cotton, paper, sashes, and planing wood.[16] The farmers of the Great Plains grew grain that was shipped by rail to the city's thirty-four flour mills where Pillsbury and General Mills became processors. By 1905, Minneapolis delivered almost 10% of the country's flour and grist.[17] At peak production, a single mill at Washburn-Crosby made enough flour for twelve million loaves of bread each day.[18]

Two men who loaded flour and a bag of flour that says Monahan's Minneapolis and a Pillsbury truck
Loading flour, Pillsbury, 1939

Minneapolis made dramatic changes to rectify discrimination as early as 1886 when Martha Ripley founded Maternity Hospital for both married and unmarried mothers.[19] When the country's fortunes turned during the Great Depression, the violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 resulted in laws acknowledging workers' rights.[20] A lifelong civil rights activist and union supporter, mayor Hubert Humphrey helped the city establish fair employment practices and a human relations council that interceded on behalf of minorities by 1946.[21] Minneapolis contended with white supremacy, participated in desegregation and the African-American civil rights movement, and in 1968 was the birthplace of the American Indian Movement.[22]

During the 1950s and 1960s as part of urban renewal, the city razed about two hundred buildings across twenty-five city blocks—roughly 40% of downtown, destroying the Gateway District and many buildings with notable architecture including the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but are credited with jumpstarting interest in historic preservation in the state.[23]

panoramic view of Saint Anthony Falls and the Mississippi riverfront in 1915
Mississippi riverfront and Saint Anthony Falls in 1915. At left, Pillsbury, power plants and the Stone Arch Bridge. Today the Minnesota Historical Society's Mill City Museum is in the Washburn "A" Mill, across the river just to the left of the falls. At center left are Northwestern Consolidated mills. The tall building is Minneapolis City Hall. In the foreground to the right are Nicollet Island and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

Geography and climate

People flying kites on Lake Harriet frozen and covered with snow
Lake Harriet frozen in winter. Ice blocks deposited in valleys by retreating glaciers created the lakes of Minneapolis.[24]

The history and economic growth of Minneapolis history are tied to water, the city's defining physical characteristic, which was sent to the region during the last ice age. Fed by receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz ten thousand years ago, torrents of water from a glacial river undercut the Mississippi and Minnehaha riverbeds, creating waterfalls important to modern Minneapolis.[25] Lying on an artesian aquifer[7] and otherwise flat terrain, Minneapolis has a total area of 58.4 square miles (151.3 km2) and of this 6% is water.[26] Water is managed by watershed districts that correspond to the Mississippi and the city's three creeks.[27] Twelve lakes, three large ponds, and five unnamed wetlands are within Minneapolis.[28]

The city center is located just south of 45° N latitude.[29] The city's lowest elevation of 686 feet (209 m) is near where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River. The site of the Prospect Park Water Tower is often cited as the city's highest point[30] and a placard in Deming Heights Park denotes the highest elevation, but a spot at 974 feet (297 m) in or near Waite Park in Northeast Minneapolis is corroborated by Google Earth as the highest ground.

Downtown skyline in view over Lake Calhoun and its dock
Lake Calhoun

Minneapolis has a continental climate typical of the Upper Midwest. Winters can be cold and dry, while summer is comfortably warm although at times it can be hot and humid. On the Köppen climate classification, Minneapolis falls in the warm summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa); and has a USDA plant hardiness of zone 5. The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, heatwaves, and fog. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minneapolis was 108 °F (42 °C) in July 1936, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was -41 °F (-40.6 °C), in January 1888. The snowiest winter of record was 1983–84, when 98.4 inches (250 cm) of snow fell.[31]

Because of its northerly location in the United States and lack of large enough bodies of water in close proximity to moderate the air, Minneapolis is sometimes subjected to cold Arctic air masses, especially during the months of January and February. The average annual temperature of 45.4 °F (7.4 °C) gives the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area the coldest annual mean temperature of any major metropolitan area in the continental United States.[32]

 

[hide]Weather data for Minneapolis, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 59
(15)
64
(18)
83
(28)
95
(35)
106
(41)
104
(40)
108
(42)
103
(39)
104
(40)
90
(32)
77
(25)
68
(20)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 22
(-6)
29
(-2)
41
(5)
57
(14)
70
(21)
79
(26)
83
(28)
80
(27)
71
(22)
58
(14)
40
(4)
26
(-3)
54.7
(13)
Average low °F (°C) 4
(-16)
12
(-11)
23
(-5)
36
(2)
48
(9)
58
(14)
63
(17)
61
(16)
51
(11)
39
(4)
25
(-4)
11
(-12)
35.9
(2)
Record low °F (°C) -41
(-41)
-40
(-40)
-32
(-36)
2
(-17)
18
(-8)
34
(1)
43
(6)
39
(4)
26
(-3)
10
(-12)
-25
(-32)
-39
(-39)
-41
(-41)
Rainfall inches (mm) 1.04
(26.4)
0.79
(20.1)
1.86
(47.2)
2.31
(58.7)
3.24
(82.3)
4.34
(110.2)
4.04
(102.6)
4.05
(102.9)
2.69
(68.3)
2.11
(53.6)
1.94
(49.3)
1.00
(25.4)
29.41
(747)
Snowfall inches (cm) 9.8
(24.9)
8.4
(21.4)
10.7
(27.2)
2.8
(7.1)
0.1
(.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.5
(1.3)
7.9
(20.1)
9.3
(23.7)
49.5
(125.7)
Avg. rainy days 9 7 10 10 11 12 10 10 10 8 9 9 115
Source: [33] October 2007

Demographics

Person entering the front of the American Swedish Institute
American Swedish Institute. Immigrants from Scandinavia arrived beginning in the 1860s.

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, the city's population was 70.2% White, 17.4% Black or African American, 1.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.9% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 4.7% from Some other race and 3.0% from Two or more races. 9.2% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[34]

Dakota tribes, mostly the Mdewakanton, as early as the 16th century were known as permanent settlers near their sacred site of St. Anthony Falls.[13] New settlers arrived during the 1850s and 1860s in Minneapolis from New England, New York, and Canada, and during the mid-1860s, Scandinavians from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark began to call the city home. Migrant workers from Mexico and Latin America also interspersed.[35] Later, immigrants came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Southern and Eastern Europe. These immigrants tended to settle in the Northeast neighborhood, which still retains an ethnic flavor and is particularly known for its Polish community. Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe settled primarily on the north side of the city before moving in large numbers to the western suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s.[36] Asians came from China, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. Two groups came for a short while during U.S. government relocations: Japanese during the 1940s, and Native Americans during the 1950s. From 1970 onward, Asians arrived from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Beginning in the 1990s, a large Latino population arrived, along with immigrants from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia (40,000 people).[37] Into the 21st century, Minneapolis continues its tradition of welcoming newcomers. The metropolitan area is an immigrant gateway which had a 127% increase in foreign-born residents between 1990 and 2000.[38]

U.S. Census Bureau estimates in the year 2007 show the population of Minneapolis to be 377,392, a 1.4% drop since the 2000 census.[39] The population grew until 1950 when the census peaked at 521,718, and then declined as people moved to the suburbs until about 1990. Among U.S. cities as of 2006, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest percentage of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people in the adult population, with 12.5% (behind San Francisco, and slightly behind both Seattle and Atlanta).[40][41]

Racial and ethnic minorities lag behind Caucasian counterparts in education, with 15.0% of African American and 13.0% of Hispanics holding bachelor's degrees compared to 42.0% of the Caucasian population. The standard of living is on the rise, with incomes among the highest in the Midwest, but median household income among minorities is below that of whites by over $17,000. Regionally, home ownership among minority residents is half that of whites though Asian home ownership has doubled. In 2000, the poverty rates included Caucasians at 4.2%, African Americans at 26.2%, Asians at 19.1%, American Indians at 23.2%, and Hispanics at 18.1%.[38][42][43]

 

U.S. Census Population Estimates
Year 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2008
Population 3,000 13,000 46,887 164,738 202,718 301,408 380,582 464,356 492,370 521,718 482,872 434,400 370,951 368,383 382,618 372,811 382,605
U.S. Rank[44] 38 18 19 18 18 15 16 17 25 32 34 42 45 48 47

Economy

Large Capella tower and U.S. Bancorp towers reflection
White U.S. Bancorp towers reflected in the Capella Tower

The economy of Minneapolis today is based in commerce, finance, rail and trucking services, health care, and industry. Smaller components are in publishing, milling, food processing, graphic arts, insurance, education, and high technology. Industry produces metal and automotive products, chemical and agricultural products, electronics, computers, precision medical instruments and devices, plastics, and machinery.[45]

Five Fortune 500 headquarters are in Minneapolis proper: Target Corporation, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Ameriprise Financial, and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Fortune 1000 companies in Minneapolis include PepsiAmericas, Valspar, Graco,[citation needed] and Donaldson Company.[46] Apart from government, the city's largest employers are Target, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, Star Tribune, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, IBM, Piper Jaffray, RBC Dain Rauscher, ING Group, and Qwest.[47]

Target's tower seen behind its flagship store on the Nicollet Mall
Target Corporation's 351,000 employees operate 1,719 retail stores in all U.S. states except Vermont.[48]

Foreign companies with U.S. offices in Minneapolis include Coloplast,[49] RBC[50] and ING Group.[51]

Availability of Wi-Fi, transportation solutions, medical trials, university research and development expenditures, advanced degrees held by the work force, and energy conservation are so far above the national average that in 2005, Popular Science named Minneapolis the "Top Tech City" in the U.S.[52] The Twin Cities ranked the country's second best city in a 2006 Kiplinger's poll of Smart Places to Live and Minneapolis was one of the Seven Cool Cities for young professionals.[53]

The Twin Cities contribute 63.8% of the gross state product of Minnesota. The area's $145.8 billion gross metropolitan product and its per capita personal income rank fourteenth in the U.S. Recovering from the nation's recession in 2000, personal income grew 3.8% in 2005, though it was behind the national average of 5%. The city returned to peak employment during the fourth quarter of that year.[54]

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, with one branch in Helena, Montana, serves Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. The smallest of the twelve regional banks in the Federal Reserve System, it operates a nationwide payments system, oversees member banks and bank holding companies, and serves as a banker for the U.S. Treasury.[55] The Minneapolis Grain Exchange founded in 1881 is still located near the riverfront and is the only exchange for hard red spring wheat futures and options.[56]

Arts

The Walker Art Center houses one of the nation's "big five" modern art collections.[57] Google-Vanity Fair party at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The region is second only to New York City in live theater per capita[58] and is the third-largest theater market in the U.S. after New York and Chicago, supporting the Illusion, Jungle, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, Mu Performing Arts, Bedlam Theatre, the Brave New Workshop, the Minnesota Dance Theatre, Red Eye, Skewed Visions, Theater Latté Da, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts, and the Children's Theatre Company.[59] The city is home to Minnesota Fringe Festival, the United States' largest nonjuried performing arts festival.[60] French architect Jean Nouvel designed a new three stage complex[61] for the Guthrie Theater, the prototype alternative to Broadway founded in Minneapolis in 1965.[62] Minneapolis purchased and renovated the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatres vaudeville and film houses on Hennepin Avenue now used for concerts and plays.[63] Eventually, a fourth renovated theater joined the Hennepin Center for the Arts to become the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center, a home to twenty performing arts groups and a provider of Web-based art education.[64]

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, built in 1915 in south central Minneapolis is the largest art museum in the city with 100,000 pieces in its permanent collection. A new wing designed by Michael Graves was completed in 2006 for contemporary and modern works and more gallery space.[61] The Walker Art Center sits atop Lowry Hill, near downtown, and doubled its size with an addition in 2005 by Herzog & de Meuron and is continuing its expansion to 15 acres (6.1 ha) with a park designed by Michel Desvigne across the street from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.[65] The Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry for the University of Minnesota, opened in 1993. An addition, also designed by Gehry, is expected to open in 2009.[66]

The son of a jazz musician and a singer, Prince is Minneapolis' most famous musical progeny.[68] With fellow local musicians, many of whom recorded at Twin/Tone Records,[69] he helped make First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry venues of choice for both artists and audiences.[70] Other prominent artists from Minneapolis include Soul Asylum and The Replacements, whose frontman Paul Westerberg went on to a successful solo career, and whose bassist Tommy Stinson plays in Guns N' Roses.[71][72]

The Minnesota Orchestra plays classical and popular music at Orchestra Hall under music director Osmo Vänskä who has set about making it the best in the country.[73] In 2008, the century-old MacPhail Center for Music opened a new facility designed by James Dayton.[74]

Tom Waits released two songs about the city, Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis (Blue Valentine 1978) and 9th & Hennepin (Rain Dogs 1985) and Lucinda Williams recorded Minneapolis (World Without Tears 2003). Home to the MN Spoken Word Association and independent hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the city has garnered notice for rap and hip hop and its spoken word community.[75] The underground hip-hop group Atmosphere (natives of Minnesota) frequently comments in song lyrics on the city and Minnesota.[76]

Minneapolis and Seattle are tied as America's most literate city.[77] A center for printing and publishing,[78] Minneapolis was a natural place for artists to build Open Book, the largest literary and book arts center in the U.S., made up of the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Milkweed Editions, sometimes called the country's largest independent nonprofit literary publisher.[79] The center exhibits and teaches both contemporary art and traditional crafts of writing, papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding.[79]

Sports

Professional sports are well-established in Minneapolis. First playing in 1884, the Minneapolis Millers baseball team produced the best won-lost record in their league at the time and contributed fifteen players to the Baseball Hall of Fame. During the 1940s and 1950s the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team, the city's first in the major leagues in any sport, won six basketball championships in three leagues before moving to Los Angeles.[81] The American Wrestling Association, formerly the NWA Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, operated in Minneapolis from 1960 until the 1990s.[82]

The Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins arrived in the state in 1961. The Vikings were an NFL expansion team and the Twins were formed when the Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota. Both teams played outdoors in the open air Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Bloomington for twenty years before moving to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, where the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Twins will move to Target Field in 2010. The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989, followed by the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team in 1999. They play in the Target Center. The NHL ice hockey team Minnesota Wild and the National Lacrosse League team Minnesota Swarm play at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. The USL-1 soccer team Minnesota Thunder plays in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis.

Fans in the stands behind then team-captain and others discussing a dispute
Golden Gophers basketball

The downtown Metrodome, opened in 1982, is the largest sports stadium in Minnesota. The three major tenants are the Vikings, the Twins, and the university's Golden Gophers baseball team. The Metrodome is the only stadium in the country to have hosted a Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, the World Series, and NCAA Basketball Men's Final Four. Runners, walkers, inline skaters, coed volleyball teams, and touch football teams all have access to "The Dome". Events from sports to concerts, community activities, religious activities, and trade shows are held more than three hundred days per year, making the facility one of the most versatile stadiums in the world.[83]

The state of Minnesota authorized replacement of the Metrodome with three separate stadiums that estimates in 2007 totaled at about $1.7 billion. Six spectator sport stadiums will be in a 1.2-mile (2 km) radius centered downtown, counting the existing facilities at Target Center and the university's Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena. The new Target Field is funded by the Twins and 75% by Hennepin County sales tax, about $25 per year by each taxpayer.[84] The Gopher football program's new TCF Bank Stadium is being built by the university and the state's general fund.[84] The Vikings Stadium plan for Blaine, Minnesota changed and as of 2007 was estimated at $954 million[85] for rebuilding on the Metrodome site. Feasibility studies for Dallas, Texas-based design and local construction (Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis) of a new stadium are expected in early 2009.[86]

Major sporting events hosted by the city include Super Bowl XXVI, the 1992 NCAA Men's Division I Final Four, the 2001 NCAA Men's Division 1 Final Four and the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships.[87][88][89]

Gifted amateur athletes have played in Minneapolis schools, notably starting in the 1920s and 1930s at Central, De La Salle, and Marshall high schools. Since the 1930s, the Golden Gophers have won national championships in men's baseball, boxing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, and wrestling.[81][90]

 

Professional Sports in Minneapolis
Club Sport League Venue Championships
Minnesota Lynx Basketball Women's National Basketball Association, Western Conference Target Center
Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball National Basketball Association, Western Conference, Northwest Division Target Center
Minnesota Twins Baseball Major League Baseball, American League, Central Division Target Field World Series 1987 and 1991
Minnesota Vikings American Football National Football League, National Football Conference, North Division Metrodome NFL Championship 1969

Parks and recreation

Minnehaha Falls surrounded by dark green summer foilage
Minnehaha Falls is part of a 193 acres (78 ha) city park rather than an urban area, because its waterpower was overshadowed by that of St. Anthony Falls a few miles further north.[91][92]

The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed, and best-maintained in America.[93] Foresight, donations and effort by community leaders enabled Horace Cleveland to create his finest landscape architecture, preserving geographical landmarks and linking them with boulevards and parkways.[94] The city's Chain of Lakes is connected by bike, running, and walking paths and used for swimming, fishing, picnics, boating, and ice skating. A parkway for cars, a bikeway for riders, and a walkway for pedestrians runs parallel along the 52 miles (84 km) route of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.[95] Residents brave the cold weather in December to watch the nightly Holidazzle Parade.[96]

Theodore Wirth is credited with the development of the parks system.[97] Today, 16.6% of the city is parks and there are 770 square feet (72 m2) of parkland for each resident, ranked in 2008 as the most parkland per resident within cities of similar population densities.[98][99]

Three women, two smiling, and a man with his hand pointing into the air leading a large group of runners past Lake Calhoun and some observers
The 2006 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

Parks are interlinked in many places and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area connects regional parks and visitor centers. The country's oldest public wildflower garden, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary located within Theodore Wirth Park which is shared with Golden Valley and is about 60% the size of Central Park in New York City.[100] Site of the 53-foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls, Minnehaha Park is one of the city's oldest and most popular parks, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year.[92] Henry Wadsworth Longfellow named Hiawatha's wife Minnehaha for the Minneapolis waterfall in The Song of Hiawatha, a bestselling and often-parodied 19th century poem.[101]

Runner's World ranks the Twin Cities as America's sixth best city for runners.[102] Team Ortho sponsors the Minneapolis Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K which began in May 2009 with more than 1,500 starters.[103][104] The Twin Cities Marathon run in Minneapolis and St. Paul every October draws 250,000 spectators. The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race is a Boston and USA Olympic Trials qualifier. The organizers sponsor three more races: a Kids Marathon, a 1 mile (1.6 km), and a 10 miles (16 km).[105] Minneapolis is home to more golfers per capita than any major U.S. city.[106]

In other sports, five golf courses are located within the city, with nationally ranked Hazeltine National Golf Club, and Interlachen Country Club in nearby suburbs.[107] The state of Minnesota has the nation's highest number of bicyclists, sport fishermen, and snow skiers per capita. Hennepin County has the second-highest number of horses per capita in the U.S.[58] While living in Minneapolis, Scott and Brennan Olson founded (and later sold) Rollerblade, the company that popularized the sport of inline skating.[108]

Government

Two young persons seated on the ground watching two women dancing with fire
Spring art party, North Commons Park, Willard-Hay, one of the eighty one neighborhoods of Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a stronghold for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), an affiliate of the Democratic Party. The Minneapolis City Council holds the most power and represents the city's thirteen districts called wards. The council has twelve DFL members and one from the Green Party. R. T. Rybak also of the DFL is the current mayor of Minneapolis. The office of mayor is relatively weak but has some power to appoint individuals such as the chief of police. Parks, taxation, and public housing are semi-independent boards and levy their own taxes and fees subject to Board of Estimate and Taxation limits.[109]

Citizens have a unique and powerful influence in neighborhood government. Neighborhoods coordinate activities under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), funded in the 1990s by the city and state who appropriated $400 million for it over twenty years.[110] Minneapolis is divided into communities, each containing neighborhoods. In some cases two or more neighborhoods act together under one organization. Some areas are commonly known by nicknames of business associations.[111]

The organizers of Earth Day scored Minneapolis ninth best overall and second among mid-sized cities in their 2007 Urban Environment Report, a study based on indicators of environmental health and their effect on people.[112]

Early Minneapolis experienced a period of corruption in local government and crime was common until an economic downturn in the mid 1900s. Since 1950 the population decreased and much of downtown was lost to urban renewal and highway construction. The result was a "moribund and peaceful" environment until the 1990s.[113] Along with economic recovery the murder rate climbed. The Minneapolis Police Department imported a computer system from New York City that sent officers to high crime areas despite accusations of racial profiling; the result was a drop in major crime. Since 1999 the number of homicides increased during four years, and to its highest in recent history in 2006,[114] and then as of 2008, went down 22% from 2007 and down 39% from 2006.[115] Politicians debate the causes and solutions, including increasing the number of police officers, providing youths with alternatives to gangs and drugs, and helping families in poverty. For 2007, the city invested in public safety infrastructure, hired over forty new officers, and has a new police chief, Tim Dolan.[116]

Education

Minneapolis Public Schools enroll 36,370 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers about one hundred public schools including forty-five elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools, eight special education schools, eight alternative schools, nineteen contract alternative schools, and five charter schools. With authority granted by the state legislature, the school board makes policy, selects the superintendent, and oversees the district's budget, curriculum, personnel, and facilities. Students speak ninety different languages at home and most school communications are printed in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali.[117] About 44% of students in the Minneapolis Public School system graduate, which ranks the city the 6th worst out of the nation's 50 largest cities.[118] Besides public schools, the city is home to more than twenty private schools and academies and about twenty additional charter schools.[119]

Minneapolis' collegiate scene is dominated by the main campus of the University of Minnesota where more than 50,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend twenty colleges, schools, and institutes.[120] The graduate school programs ranked highest in 2007 were counseling and personnel services, chemical engineering, psychology, macroeconomics, applied mathematics and non-profit management.[121] A Big Ten school and home of the Golden Gophers, the U of M is the sixth largest campus in the U.S. in terms of enrollment.[122]

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the private Dunwoody College of Technology, Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, and Art Institutes International Minnesota provide career training. Augsburg College, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and North Central University are private four-year colleges. Capella University, Minnesota School of Professional Psychology, and Walden University are headquartered in Minneapolis and some others including the public four-year Metropolitan State University and the private four-year University of St. Thomas have campuses there.[123]

The Hennepin County Library system began to operate the city's public libraries in 2008.[124] The Minneapolis Public Library, founded by T. B. Walker in 1885,[125] faced a severe budget shortfall for 2007, and was forced to close three of its neighborhood libraries.[126] The new downtown Central Library designed by César Pelli opened in 2006.[127] Ten special collections hold over 25,000 books and resources for researchers, including the Minneapolis Collection and the Minneapolis Photo Collection.[128] At recent count 1,696,453 items in the system are used annually and the library answers over 500,000 research and fact-finding questions each year.[129]

In 2007, Minneapolis was named America's most literate city. The study, conducted by Live Science, surveyed 69 U.S. cities with a population over 250,000. They focused on six key factors: Number of book stores, newspaper circulation, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources. In second place was Seattle, Washington and third was Minneapolis' neighbor, St. Paul, followed by Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C.[130]

Transportation

Yellow light rail near Cedar/Riverside
Hiawatha Line LRV near Cedar/Riverside station.

Half of Minneapolis-Saint Paul residents work in the city where they live.[131] Most residents drive cars but 60% of the 160,000 people working downtown commute by means other than a single person per auto.[132] Alternative transportation is encouraged. The Metropolitan Council's Metro Transit, which operates the light rail system and most of the city's buses, provides free travel vouchers through the Guaranteed Ride Home program to allay fears that commuters might otherwise be occasionally stranded if, for example, they work late hours.[133]

The Minneapolis metro system consists of two lines. The Hiawatha Line or yellow line LRT serves 34,000 riders daily and connects the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport and Mall of America to downtown. Most of the line runs at surface level, although parts of the line run on elevated tracks (including the Franklin Ave. and Lake St./Midtown stations) and approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of the line runs underground, including the Lindbergh terminal subway station at the airport. The 40-mile Northstar Commuter rail or blue line, which runs from Big Lake through the northern suburbs and terminates at the multi-modal transit station at Target Field opened on November 16, 2009.[134] It utilizes existing railroad tracks and will serve a projected 5,000 daily commuters.[135]

The planned third line, the Central Corridor or red line, will share stations with the Hiawatha line in downtown Minneapolis, and then at the Downtown East/Metrodome station, travel east through the University of Minnesota, and then along University Ave. into downtown St. Paul. Construction will begin in 2010 and expected completion is in 2014. The fourth line, the Southwest or green line, will connect downtown Minneapolis with the southwestern suburb of Eden Prairie. Completion is expected in 2015.

Seven miles (11 km) of enclosed pedestrian bridges called skyways, the Minneapolis Skyway System, link eighty city blocks downtown. Second floor restaurants and retailers connected to these passageways are open on weekdays.[136]

The taxicab ordinance requires 10% wheelchair accessibility by 2009 and some use of alternative fuel or fuel efficient vehicles. Starting in 2011 the city's limit of 343 taxis will be lifted.[137]

Trees and lawns covered in smow, cyclist stopped at a street light
Bicyclist in winter

Minneapolis ranks second in the nation for the highest percentage of commuters by bicycle.[138] Ten thousand cyclists use the bike lanes in the city each day, and many ride in the winter. The Public Works Department expanded the bicycle trail system from the Grand Rounds to 56 miles (90 km) of off-street commuter trails including the Midtown Greenway, the Light Rail Trail, Kenilworth Trail, Cedar Lake Trail and the West River Parkway Trail along the Mississippi. Minneapolis also has 34 miles (54 km) of dedicated bike lanes on city streets and encourages cycling by equipping transit buses with bike racks and by providing online bicycle maps.[139] Many of these trails and bridges, such as the Stone Arch Bridge, were former railroad lines that have now been converted for bicycles and pedestrians.[140] In 2007 citing the city's bicycle lanes, buses and LRT, Forbes identified Minneapolis the world's fifth cleanest city.[141]

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) sits on 3,400 acres (1,400 ha)[142] on the southeast border of the city between Minnesota State Highway 5, Interstate 494, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Minnesota State Highway 62. The airport serves three international, twelve domestic, seven charter and four regional carriers[143] and is a hub and home base for Northwest Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines.[144]

Amtrak's Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle stops once daily in each direction at nearby Midway Station in St. Paul.[145]

Media

Five major newspapers are published in Minneapolis: Star Tribune, Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the university's The Minnesota Daily and MinnPost.com. Other publications are the City Pages weekly, the Mpls.St.Paul and Minnesota Monthly monthlies, and Utne magazine.[78] In 2008 readers of online news also used Minnesota Independent, Twin Cities Daily Planet, Downtown Journal, Cursor, MNSpeak and about fifteen other sites.[146] The New York Times said in 1996, "Now there are T-shirts that read, 'Murderapolis,'" a name for the city that members of the local media have mistakenly attributed to the paper.[147]

Minneapolis has a mix of radio stations and healthy listener support for public radio but in the commercial market, a single organization Clear Channel Communications operates seven stations. Listeners support three Minnesota Public Radio non-profit stations, the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota each operate a station, the networks broadcast on affiliate stations, and religious organizations run two stations.[148]

KFAI and the back entrance to old buildings with brightly colored woodwork
KFAI radio in Cedar-Riverside is a public access station.

The city's first television was broadcast by the St. Paul station and ABC affiliate KSTP-TV. The first to broadcast in color was WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate which is located in downtown Minneapolis.[78] The city also receives FOX, NBC, PBS, MyNetworkTV, and The CW through their affiliates and one independent station.[149] Twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh were from Minneapolis on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210.[150] American Idol held auditions for its sixth season in Minneapolis in 2006[151] and Last Comic Standing held auditions for its fifth season in Minneapolis in 2007.[152]

A statue of Mary Tyler Moore downtown on the Nicollet Mall commemorates the legendary 1970s CBS television situation comedy fictionally based in Minneapolis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It marks the site where producers filmed the series' iconic opening sequence in which character Mary Richards, played by Moore, throws her hat up in the air.

The show was awarded three Golden Globes and thirty-one Emmy Awards.[153]

Religion and charity

The Dakota people, the original inhabitants of the area where Minneapolis now stands, believed in the Great Spirit and were surprised that not all European settlers were religious.[154] Over fifty denominations and religions and some well known churches have since been established in Minneapolis. Those who arrived from New England were for the most part Christian Protestants, Quakers, and Universalists.[154] The oldest continuously used church in the city, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood was built in 1856 by Universalists and soon afterward was acquired by a French Catholic congregation.[155] Formed in 1878 as Shaarai Tov, in 1902 the first Jewish congregation in Minneapolis built the synagogue in East Isles known since 1920 as Temple Israel.[36] St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral was founded in 1887, opened a missionary school in 1897 and in 1905 created the first Russian Orthodox seminary in the U.S.[156] The first basilica in the U.S., the Roman Catholic Basilica of Saint Mary near Loring Park was named by Pope Pius XI.[154]

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Decision magazine, and World Wide Pictures film and television distribution were headquartered in Minneapolis for about forty of the years between the late 1940s into the 2000s.[157] Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye met while attending the Pentecostal North Central University and began a television ministry that by the 1980s reached 13.5 million households.[158] Today, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in southwest Minneapolis has 6,000 active members and is the world's largest Lutheran congregation.[159] Christ Church Lutheran in the Longfellow neighborhood is among the finest work by architect Eliel Saarinen. The congregation later added an education building designed by his son Eero Saarinen.[160]

Philanthropy and charitable giving are part of the community.[161] More than 40% of adults in Minneapolis-St. Paul give time to volunteer work, the highest percent in the U.S.[162] Catholic Charities is one of the largest providers of social services locally.[163] The American Refugee Committee helps one million refugees and displaced persons in ten countries in Africa, the Balkans and Asia each year.[164] Although no Minneapolis businesses are top corporate citizens, Business Ethics was based in Minneapolis and was the predecessor of CRO magazine for corporate responsibility officers.[165] The oldest foundation in Minnesota, the Minneapolis Foundation invests and administers over nine hundred charitable funds and connects donors to nonprofit organizations.[166] The metropolitan area gives 13% of its total charitable donations to the arts and culture. The majority of the estimated $1 billion recent expansion of arts facilities was contributed privately.[167]

Health and utilities

Minneapolis has seven hospitals, four ranked among America's best by U.S. News & World ReportAbbott Northwestern Hospital (part of Allina), Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.[168] Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Allina's Phillips Eye Institute also serve the city.[169] The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is a 75-minute drive away.[170]

Cardiac surgery was developed at the university's Variety Club Hospital, where by 1957, more than two hundred patients had survived open-heart operations, many of them children. Working with surgeon C. Walton Lillehei, Medtronic began to build portable and implantable cardiac pacemakers about this time.[171]

HCMC opened in 1887 as City Hospital and was also known as General Hospital.[172] A public teaching hospital and Level I trauma center, the HCMC safety net sees 325,000 clinic visits and 100,000 emergency room visits each year and in 2008 provided about 18% of the uncompensated care given in Minnesota.[173] Governor Tim Pawlenty balanced the state's budget with a line-item veto of the General Assistance Medical Care program,[174] and as a result HCMC budgets will close two clinics, reduce its staff, and reduce access to non-emergency services—the largest loss of any institution in the state.[175]

Utility providers are regulated monopolies: Xcel Energy supplies electricity, CenterPoint Energy supplies gas, Qwest is the landline telephone provider, and Comcast is the cable service.[176] In 2007 city-wide wireless internet coverage began, provided for 10 years by US Internet of Minnetonka to residents for about $20 per month and to businesses for $30.[177] Minneapolis is one of the first cities to implement city-wide, public Wi-Fi, and as of December 2008, 85% to 90%[178] of the city was covered, although spots lacking coveage persisted on the East- and West-Central sections of the city.[177][179] The city treats and distributes water and requires payment of a monthly solid waste fee for trash removal, recycling, and drop off for large items. Residents who recycle receive a credit. Hazardous waste is handled by Hennepin County drop off sites.[176] After each significant snowfall, called a snow emergency, the Minneapolis Public Works Street Division plows over one thousand miles (1609 km) of streets and four hundred miles (643.7 km) of alleys—counting both sides, the distance between Minneapolis and Seattle and back. Ordinances govern parking on the plowing routes during these emergencies as well as snow shoveling throughout the city.[180]

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John and Michele are all around fabulous to work with. Patience, professionalism, the works. I don't believe we could have found better agents. We are pleased in every aspect of the sale and closing. We would recommend friends and family to John and Michele and would/will come back to them for any future sales and/or buying.

 

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John and Michele Anselmo are phenomenal at real estate. I was immediately comfortable working with them. We had many questions and concerns and John and Michele always answered them, there was no such thing as a silly question to them. Through the entire process of selling our home and buying a new one, I was worried about their livelihood; completely convinced that I was the only one they were working with at the time.

 

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I later found out that they had multiple clients at the time and I had nothing to worry about, but that is the way John and Michele make you feel, like you are the only one they are working with and you are the most important. It was extremely comforting to us to have their knowledge and experience on our side when looking for, and purchasing a home. I would (and have) referred them to my friends and family and will hire them again should we ever need to sell this home and buy a new one.

 

~ Mathew and Kari (Continued...

Michele worked with me on my first home, and walked me through the steps needed for purchase. Many times I wanted to look at different homes and she would go with me, but understood the market much better than I did and gave me advice based on that knowledge. I am glad I took the advice. I now have a home that even though the market declined, I have my head above water. I may not have had that if it weren't for Michele. She is extremely knowledgeable about what it out there and the time to buy.

 

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