What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Water Works: A new/old look on the riverfront

Posted by: Bill McAuliffe Updated: February 19, 2014 - 4:13 PM

A glassy pavilion that would link trails with exposed ruins below ground near the Stone Arch bridge could be a dramatic feature of a piece of downtown riverfront redevelopment.

The pavilion would be part of the so-called Water Works piece of the "Above the Falls" rehabilitation, shown in schematic drawings at an open house at Mill City Museum Thursday. Water Works, which focuses on the area between the Stone Arch Bridge and the Third Avenue bridge, would also overhaul the dark, weedy and forgotten bank where the long-abandoned Fuji-Ya restaurant now stands, sculpting the bank to reveal more ruins, which could incorporate playgrounds, gardens and picnic areas.

"People have been very inspired by what's being proposed," said Mary deLaittre, executive director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which is paying for design work for Water Works.

They've also apparently been hungry. More than 80 percent of survey respondents indicated they'd like some sort of food offering where Portland Av. intersects West River Parkway, near the downtown end of the Stone Arch Bridge, where designers have envisioned the pavilion.

The design team will be back in April with more drawings, then bring proposals to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which could decide the project's future by late summer or fall.

Hover over the images below to see how the current landscape would be changed:

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