Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Upper Post gets some money to halt decay, but not enough
The historic buildings at Fort Snelling's Upper Post are in danger of collapsing. That's because there's not enough money to properly board up the military barracks and other 1880s-era buildings at the site, which is near the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Hennepin County asked the state for a half-million bucks to do the job right, but the legislature denied the request. There's some good new here. But not much. The feds have kicked in $150,000 to secure the historic structures, but that's bound to leave cracks in many of the buildings, further threatening their existence.

Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin told the Star Tribune that he's worried about the buildings' future. "It's clear to me that if you don't stabilize these buildings, stop the deterioration, that they're going to be destroyed," he said. (Photo courtesy of Star Tribune)


Anonymous said...

The first white settlement was at Fort Snelling...long before Minnesota became a state...

What can be done with the buildings
that would preserve their historic
integrity while converting them to
a 21st century use?

The park board tried and failed to
work with someone who wanted a sports facility there...the results
were a $900,000 lawsuit.

One of the field sessions for the National Trust's preservation conference will be held at Fort Snelling in October. Maybe all
the experts will find a solution.

Till then any ideas for saving the buildings other than knocking them
down and replacing them with condos?

Ed Kohler said...

Preserving the buildings at the fort should be a priority. Even if we don't see the short-term value, the long term value is huge.

Anonymous said...

Currently there are eleven redevelopment proposals before Hennepin County. Some make use of the existing buildings, but many of the plans treat the buildings as an annoying afterthought that needs to be worked around. Some want condos, one proposes a race track, and others class space and museums.

I've created a web site to help promote interest in the upper post. Public outcry helped save the lower post from highway expansion in the 1950s. With a little publicity, perhaps we can save the few buildings that are left.

If you want to read the redevelopment proposals for yourself or look at pictures of the buildings (historical and recent), visit the web site below. I'll be at the preservation conference this October and maybe some good ideas will come out of it.