Minneapolis, Minnesota, the state's largest city and the seat of Hennepin County. It is on the Mississippi River in the east-central part of the state. Minneapolis adjoins St. Paul, the state capital, and together they are known as the “Twin Cities.”

The Mississippi divides Minneapolis into two unequal parts; the larger section is on the west bank. Except in the central section, which includes downtown Minneapolis, the streets run north-south and east-west. Several diagonal arterial streets and expressways converge on the downtown area.

Scattered about the city are more than 20 sparkling lakes of glacial origin, providing recreational sites and adding a distinctive quality. Among the larger ones are Lakes Calhoun, Cedar, Harriet, and Nokomis. Many of the lakes are adjoined by parks and connected by parkland strips. The city has more than 100 parks. In Minnehaha Park, near the Mississippi River, is 53-foot (16-m) Minnehaha Falls.

Large suburbs bordering or near Minneapolis include Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Edina, Minnetonka, Richfield, Roseville, and St. Louis Park.

Economy

Minneapolis is one of the main commercial, financial, and industrial centers in the upper Midwest. It is also a major distribution center and a transportation hub.

Located in Minneapolis are a Federal Reserve district bank and the headquarters of a number of large corporations, including several of the largest grain-milling companies in the world. One of the world's largest cash grain markets is also in the city.

Manufacturing industries are highly diversified and employ many workers. Products include electronic equipment, instruments, and computers; machines and machine parts; foods; fabricated metalwares; and paper and wood products. Printing and publishing are also important. Each year many tourists visit Minneapolis and the surrounding area.

Two Interstate highways, scores of trucking lines, and a number of trunk-line railways and airlines serve the Twin City area. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is about equidistant from the downtown areas of both cities. Minneapolis is the head of navigation for barge traffic on the Mississippi River.

Main Attractions

In downtown Minneapolis, along Nicollet Avenue, is Nicollet Mall, an 8-block-lone landscaped pedestrian walkway and major retail center. Located here is the 775-foot (236-m) IDS Center, tallest building in the city. Above-the-street walkways, called skyways, link downtown offices, stores, and hotels. Many of the newer buildings in downtown Minneapolis are in an urban renewal area known as the Gateway Center. Hennepin Avenue is lined with movie theaters, nightclubs, and restaurants.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center both have notable collections. The American Swedish Institute's exhibits pertain to Minnesota's Swedish heritage. The Bell Museum of Natural History has dioramas displaying Minnesota wildlife.

The Tyrone Guthrie Theater, opened in 1963, offers outstanding repertory theater. The Children's Theater is a resident professional children's theater. Concerts by the Minnesota Orchestra are given in Orchestra Hall, opened in 1974.

The University of Minnesota (main campus) is the city's leading and largest educational institution. Among others are Augsburg College and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, located downtown, is home to the Minnesota Vikings (professional football) and the Minnesota Twins (professional baseball). Also downtown is the Target Center, which is home to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx (professional basketball teams).

History

The Falls of St. Anthony, site of the city's first settlement, was visited by such early explorers as Father Louis Hennepin (1680), Jonathan Carver (1766), and Zebulon Pike (1805). Fort Snelling (first called Fort St. Anthony) was established in 1819, 28 years before the area was opened to settlers. The town of St. Anthony was founded in 1848 just east of the falls; Minneapolis was founded in 1854 on the opposite bank. The two towns merged in 1872.

A period of rapid growth came with the building of railways and a rich trade in lumber and grain. By 1910 Minneapolis was the world's largest flour milling center, with a population of more than 300,000. The period between the two world wars brought a decline in flour milling, a diversification of industry, and slower population growth. Since World War II Minneapolis experienced large-scale suburban development and major urban renewal projects. It also experienced a steady population decline until the 1990's, when its population increased.

Largest communities in the Minneapolis area
NamePopulation
Minneapolis 382,618
St. Paul 287,151
Bloomington 85,172
Brooklyn Park 67,388
Plymouth 65,894
Eagan 63,557
Coon Rapids 61,607
Burnsville 60,220
Eden Prairie 54,901
Minnetonka 51,301

Population: 382,618.