Fort Snelling Upper Post

Nationally historic designation coupled with its location within unincorporated Hennepin County and complex jurisdictional authorities have hampered redevelopment opportunities Fort Snelling Upper Post. Opened in 2004, the nearby Fort Snelling LRT Station, has great potential to support current recreational and future housing, educational and redevelopment uses.

Since 2006 Hennepin County has convened the various partners (National Parks Service, Veterans Affairs, MN Dept. of Natural Resources, MN Historical Society, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board) to discuss the future of the area. The resulting 2012 Joint Powers Agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the partners and lays the groundwork for future investment. This map (PDF 19.2MB) captures the wide range of activities that already animate the Fort Snelling Upper Post area and indicates some of the redevelopment opportunities just over the horizon.

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Funding and partnerships

Grants

In 2010, the county received Minnesota Legacy funds to complete the West District Historical Context Study and Development Guidelines (PDF 8.8MB) for the portion of Fort Snelling that is within the National Register and State Historic Districts. The Fort Snelling Light Rail Transit and Upper Post Master Plan (PDF 10.3MB) was prepared to articulate a vision and goals for redevelopment and transit oriented development of the Upper Post.

The county was also awarded a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to study the historic cultural landscape and historic context for the 28 historic buildings on site. That study, which identified areas where new development was appropriate and suggested guidelines (PDF) for new construction, was completed in 2008.

Hennepin County secured a National Park Service Save America's Treasures Grant for $150,000 in 2007 and $500,000 in 2008, and $1.2 million in state capital bonding money to stabilize critical properties at the post, and with some of its own funds is currently planning improvements under the guidance of a qualified historical architect.

In 2011, Hennepin County received a $40,000 Partners in Preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to restore the clock in the Clock Tower Building, Fort Snelling Building 67 at the Fort Snelling Upper Post.

Partnerships

The county is employing the Hennepin County Sentencing to Services Homes Program to make the money stretch as far as possible while training convicted offenders in the construction trades.

Upper Bluff Reuse Study

The Upper Bluff area of Fort Snelling State Park is one of Minnesota's, and the nation's, most historic and culturally important sites. It is also one of the most underutilized historic resources within the state. The purpose of the Upper Bluff Study is to help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) determine the feasibility of reuse for these significant buildings and the surrounding 141 acres.

Miller Dunwiddie Architecture, Incorporated (MDA) was asked by Hennepin County to re-examine the study that MDA, Thomas R. Zahn and Associates, and others produced in 1998. This update to the 1998 study consists of an evaluation of each of the buildings through site visits, a new cost analysis for each, and updates as necessary throughout the report.

Through site visits, notes and photographs, MDA assessed each of the buildings using a ranking system of 0-5, which slightly modifies the 1-5 system used in the 1998 study. On the whole, the buildings have deteriorated approximately one point in the past eight years.

Fort Snelling Upper Bluff Reuse Study Part I - Pages 1-50 (PDF)

Fort Snelling Upper Bluff Reuse Study Part II - Pages 51-119 (PDF)

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