Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis

Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis (must see)

The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis. It is the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire Mississippi River. It is the second oldest bridge on the river next to Eads Bridge.

The Stone Arch Bridge was built in 1883 by railroad tycoon James J. Hill for his Great Northern Railway, and accessed the former passenger station located about a mile to the west, on the west bank of the river. For a time, the bridge was dubbed "Hill's Folly" until the value of Hill's new bridge as a passenger rail link became evident.

The Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis is a former railroad bridge and the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire Mississippi River. The bridge was built between 1882 and 1883 to a design by Charles C Smith. It was commissioned by railroad tycoon James J. Hill with an aim to connect his Great Northern Railway system to the new Union Depot. For a time, the bridge was dubbed "Hill's Folly" until the value of Hill's new bridge as a passenger rail link became evident.

Hill originally intended to build an iron bridge spanning the Mississippi at Nicollet Island, but Smith discovered that pursuing that design would be detrimental to St Anthony Falls’ eroding sandstone. Smith's design was pioneering and the signature arches were designed to account for the falls and the surrounding topography. The stone used in construction was locally sourced, including granite from Sauk Rapids for the piers and magnesium limestone from Mankato and Iowa for the upper portion.

In the 130 years of its existence, the bridge has undergone a number of upgrades and repairs. In 1925 it was widened to make room for larger railcars. Ultimately, in 1994, it was converted to a pedestrian walkway.

The structure is now fully reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. In 1971, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District. The bridge was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1974. The bike and walking trails across the Stone Arch Bridge are integrated into the city's park and trail system, and form part of the St Anthony Falls Heritage Trail. The most recent renovations—including indirect lighting—were completed in late 2005.

During the summer months, the Stone Arch Bridge is a focus of numerous festivals. The Stone Arch Festival of the Arts occurs on Father's Day weekend and features many local artists. Fireworks displays on the Fourth of July and during the Minneapolis Aquatennial in late July also bring crowds. The bridge offers views of the Minneapolis skyline, Pillsbury "A" Mill, the Mill City Museum, and many other places in the district, and is near both the restaurants of Main St SE and the Guthrie Theater.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Stone Arch Bridge on Map

Sight Name: Stone Arch Bridge
Sight Location: Minneapolis, USA (See walking tours in Minneapolis)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Create Your Own Walk in Minneapolis

Create Your Own Walk in Minneapolis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Minneapolis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
University of Minnesota - Minneapolis Campus Walking Tour

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis Campus Walking Tour

The University of Minnesota is a public research university in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Respectively, its campus is located in these two neighboring cities. Founded in 1851, seven years before Minnesota became a state, this is one of the largest universities in the U.S., with over 50,000 enrolled students.

This self-guided tour takes you to explore the UM Minneapolis...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Minneapolis is known as the "City of Lakes”, but lakes aren’t the only pride of this city. You will be amazed by how many cathedrals, churches, temples and other holy places are scattered among the city. Don’t miss the chance to visit the most notable historical churches in Minneapolis with this self-guided walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Saint Paul Introduction Walking Tour

Saint Paul Introduction Walking Tour

Saint Paul is a fantastic example of a city that has grown through a diverse range of cultures. The location near the Mississippi River helped make what would later become the city a significant center of local trade. The Dakota Sioux tribe were among the earliest residents, and European settlement that included French-Canadian fur traders and Catholic missionaries occurred during the 1830s to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Minneapolis Introduction Walking Tour

Minneapolis Introduction Walking Tour

Minneapolis, Minnesota's major metropolis straddling the Mississippi River, is known for its parks and lakes. The city is also home to a number of cultural landmarks, such as the Walker Art Center, a contemporary art museum, and the nearby Sculpture Garden, famed for Claes Oldenburg's "Spoonbridge and Cherry", to name but a few. If you have the taste for art and architecture,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles