Northeast Minneapolis, sometimes referred to as Nordeast, is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from downtown Minneapolis and North Minneapolis. The oldest non-native settlement in Minneapolis, Minnesota is Old St Anthony, located across the river from downtown, and named after Saint Anthony Falls, which marked the original northernmost navigable point of the Mississippi River. In 1848, Franklin Steele purchased the land that would become St. Anthony and with the help of Ard Godfrey built the first commercial mill at the falls. The falls provided a dependable power source and soon many mills had been constructed there and the nickname "Mill City" was born. The land west of the Mississippi was opened for settlement in 1852, and when people started settling it, St. Anthony found it had a competitor across the river. St Anthony was incorporated in 1855, 12 years before its neighbor Minneapolis. St Anthony and Minneapolis existed as separate cities until 1872 when they agreed to merge under the name of Minneapolis. The former St Anthony became Northeast Minneapolis. Northeast Minneapolis has been a traditionally working class area populated by immigrants of Polish, Italian, Finnish, German, and Russian descent that were drawn into the area first by employment opportunities that the grain mills and sawmills along the river offered, and later by rail and factory jobs across the city. By 1930, immigrants made up nearly 60% of Northeast's total population. European immigrants had a profound influence on the cultural life of Minneapolis. The names of local businesses still bear the mark of the area's large Eastern European population; for example, Surdyk's Liquors and Kramarczuk's Sausages are still doing business and thriving after half a century of existence. Northeast Minneapolis also became known for its large number of churches, including Minneapolis's first church, Our Lady of Lourdes Church built on land donated by Pierre Bottineau and founded in 1849 as the First Universalist Society. As numerous as the churches were the neighborhood bars, which are still a prominent feature of the community. The first mayor of St. Anthony was elected largely by support of the tavern and bar owners. After over a hundred years of continuous settlement by European populations the housing and other neighborhood infrastructure needed improvement by the late 20th century. The focus was on housing stock that had become less and less acceptable to middle class buyers. Starting in the early 1970s residents received grants and loans to complete construction, alteration or improvement projects, new streets were built, plumbing, heating, and electricity were brought up to code and improvements were made to local business. It was also during this time that a proposal to build a freeway through the area was fought. The proposed freeway, Interstate 335, was meant to connect I-94 in north Minneapolis to I-35W north of of the University of Minnesota. The route was to follow the north side of the rail line that crosses Nicollet Island and passes to the north of the St Anthony commercial district, between 1st and 2nd Avenues NE. Land was bought and cleared for the project and the residents relocated before the project was defeated by the local residents and activists. Ultimately new housing and industrial buildings were built on the cleared land and they contributed to the area's revitalization. In recent years, the demographics of Northeast have changed somewhat, the population becoming younger and more diverse, while retaining a stable base of old "Nordeast" families, often in their third or fourth generation. More and more students from the nearby University of Minnesota moved into Northeast. Asian-Pacific and African Americans found stable neighborhoods and affordable housing available and chose the area as home. New immigrant groups (Somalis and Latin Americans of a variety of nationalities for example) kept the tradition of Northeast as a haven for immigrants. Seventy-nine percent of housing in the area is owner occupied which has continued to contribute to the stability of neighborhoods that comprise Northeast Minneapolis. Along with the younger demographic came revitalization to the culture of Northeast. It has become a center for the arts in the Twin Cities. Galleries and studios have sprung up all over Northeast, many occupying the historic buildings saved from when the area was more industrial. The Northrup King Building is a good example of this. Construction started in 1917 for the Northrup-King & Co. seed company and finally comprised 10 interconnected buildings that shipped seeds across the United States. Now, it is the home of over 135 tenants, including 100 artists and including small business and nonprofit organizations. The Grain Belt Brewery complex, the California Building, Thorp Building, and Casket Arts Building are also home to various artist galleries and studios. At the center of Northeast, Nye's Polonaise Room. Piano Bar and Polka music The new influence of the arts is expressed by "Art-a-whirl", an art crawl the third week of May that encompasses 400 art studios and has existed for 10 years. The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (or NEMAA), which runs Art-a-Whirl, was instrumental in establishing the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, bounded by Central Avenue, Broadway, the Mississippi River and Lowry Ave. Restaurants and shops catering to a younger population have also re-energized Northeast Minneapolis. These newer businesses operate side by side with older establishments from the earlier era, including Nye's Polonaise Room and Kramarczuk's Sausage Company. The new face of Northeast Minneapolis is perhaps best seen in the new Hennepin Avenue Bridge. The new suspension bridge is at the same site of the first permanent bridge across the Mississippi River and is styled after the first bridge at the site, also a suspension bridge. In the mid-2000's, a new housing pattern emerged as loft and condominium projects sprouted, especially within the Arts district. Meanwhile, the Quarry shopping center has become a "big box" destination in the region, anchoring a second major retail center besides the older Old St Anthony business district.
Neighborhoods: Audubon Park Beltrami Bottineau Columbia Park Holland Logan Park Marshall Terrace Northeast Park St. Anthony East St. Anthony West Sheridan Waite Park Windom Park
Minneapolis is first in the nation in literacy and second in per capita theaters. It is also known for its orchestra, art museums, and the sculpture garden with the cherry spoon near Loring Park and the Walker Art Center. Minneapolis is on the Mississippi River where you will find riverboats to ride on and by its banks, interesting walks. Minneapolis is also home to professional sports teams and many restaurants and bars with musical entertainment.
Northeast Parks & Recreation
Parks: Over the years, our park system has grown from a few city parks to a large, nationally recognized park system of nearly 6,400 acres of land and water, including over 170 park properties throughout the city and 49 year round staffed recreation centers. Today, an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live and work is these parks and lakes. In fact, we believe the Minneapolis Park system to be the best park system in the galaxy. It was described by the Trust for Public Land in 2000 as the "closest thing to park nirvana".
Chain of Lakes: • Enjoy lakeside paths for exercise and relaxation • Canoe for nearly two miles from Lake Calhoun to Brownie Lake • Search for the marker at the site of the area's first schoolhouse or Cloudman's village. • Step back 50 years in time and ride the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line • Listen to live music at the Lake Harriet Bandshell • Visit the Bird Sanctuary, Rose Gardens and Peace Gardens near Lake Harriet
Parks Historical Sites: While all of the parks in Minneapolis have an extensive history, the Park Board is fortunate to house several unique historical sites. Select a historical site from the list to link to more detailed information.
Recreation Centers: The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board operates 49 year-round, neighborhood-based Recreation Centers, ranging in size from one-room shelters to full-service facilities with meeting rooms, kitchens and gymnasiums. Each Center employs full and part-time staff committed to providing quality recreation opportunities and programs for the citizens of Minneapolis. Recreation Centers not only provide facilities for individuals and groups, they also are the focal point of our extensive activity and program offerings. Each Recreation Center offers a variety of programs, classes and special events reflecting the entire spectrum of recreation. Get involved with your neighborhood Recreation Centers - a safe place for all ages to meet new friends, socialize, learn new skills, keep fit and stay healthy.
Annual Events: City of Lakes Loppet 35km cross-country ski race through the Twin Cities (1st weekend in Feb.) Heart of the Beast Theatre May Day Parade Parade and Festival featuring fantastic puppets and floats (1st weekend in May) Art-A-Whirl Art Studio Tour and Open House in NE Minneapolis (May) Pride Festival & Parade One of the country's largest annual Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender pride celebrations (June) Minneapolis Aquatennial Summer festival with more than 70 events including milk carton boat races and Torchlight Parade (3rd week of July) Minnesota Fringe Festival Hundreds of music, dance & theater performances at about 20 different venues. (1st week in Aug.) Loring Park Art Festival Fine art festival in an idyllic downtown park setting (1st weekend in Aug.) Uptown Metris Art Fair One of the top fine arts festivals in the Midwest (1st weekend in Aug.) Powderhorn Festival of Arts Features regional fine arts and crafts (August) Twin Cities Marathon The most beautiful urban marathon in America (1st weekend in Oct.) Holidazzle Parade Floats and fairy-tale characters with sparkling lights parade down Nicollett Mall. (Wednesdays though Sundays, End of November through December)