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Water Works

Minneapolis, MN

Water Works is located within Mill Ruins Park and the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District in Downtown Minneapolis. The park transformed this abandoned 2.5 acre site into an engaging public space with commanding views of the Mississippi River and provides much needed visitor amenities for the area. Damon Farber led a multidisciplinary team through design, community engagement, preservation and construction of the site. The project transformed existing historic resources on the site into a park which provides flexible outdoor space, plazas, seating, circulation, picnic lawns, native gardens, a play area, and important bike and pedestrian connectivity between the river and urban fabric. Historic mill walls were transformed and rehabilitated to create site features and a pavilion which provides visitor services including a meeting room, restrooms and a restaurant. Key initiatives of the project included working through programming of the space, creating welcoming connections for pedestrians and cyclists, providing usable public space on the Mississippi River, and developing engaging interpretation honoring the historic Mill District and the strong cultural connection of the Dakota people. The project focused on sustainability by a strong use of native plantings and installing the city’s first district-wide stormwater reuse system. Working with Dakota representatives, artists and linguists, the park incorporates a myriad of interpretive interventions that honor the cultural and spiritual importance of the site for First Nations peoples.

Client & Collaborators


ASLA MN | Award of Excellence | 2022

Minneapolis Parks Foundation

HGA Architects

H+U Construction


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