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Minneapolis travel guide — Minneapolis tourism and travel information

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about Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the county seat of Hennepin County, Minnesota. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 382,618 making it the largest city in Minnesota. It is in the southeast part of the state, adjoining the second-largest city and state capital, St. Paul. The two cities on the Mississippi River together are known as the Twin Cities. Minneapolis takes its name from the Dakota word for water ('minne') and the Greek word for city ('polis'), and is sometimes called the 'City of Lakes.'

Minneapolis geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 151.3 km² (58.4 mi²). 142.2 km² (54.9 mi²) of it is land and 9.1 km² (3.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 6.01% water.

Minneapolis history

Minneapolis grew up around the Saint Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River and the end of the commercially navigable section of the river until locks were installed in the 1960s. Father Louis Hennepin was the first European to explore the area, giving the falls their name, as well as lending his name to the county in which Minneapolis is located. The nearby Fort Snelling spurred the growth of villages and towns in the area. In the 1840s, settlers were not allowed to stay on land directly controlled by the fort without special permission, so the first settlement near the falls grew on the northeast side of the river, just outside of the fort's jurisdiction. A few years later in 1852, the amount of land controlled by the fort was reduced with an order from U.S. President Millard Fillmore. The village of Minneapolis soon sprung up on the southwest bank of the river.

The original campus of the University of Minnesota first appeared near the falls at this time. Today it is a Big Ten Conference university with more than 45,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Twin Cities alone, making it one of the largest campuses in the country.

In 1867, Minneapolis became a city, merging with Saint Anthony five years later in 1872. The early growth of the city was directed by the river, which ran to the southeast, and most early streets ran parallel to it to maximize the amount of land that could be used. Later growth of Minneapolis eventually turned to using north-south/east-west streets, so many unique intersections were formed to translate between the two layouts (probably the most famous of these is a site known as Seven Corners, on the eastern periphery of downtown).

Following an initial burst of activity in the lumber industry, the city's economy developed around the processing of grain from the Great Plains, which is reflected by the presence of companies such as General Mills and Pillsbury in the city. In its heyday, it was known as the "milling capital of the world." Today, it is still referred to as the mill city. More recently the city has become notable for its medical and financial industries, as well as the largest shopping mall in the United States, the Mall of America (actually located in Bloomington, a suburb south of Minneapolis). Minneapolis was the headquarters of Honeywell International Inc.

The 1920s and 1930s were a rather dark period in the city's history, as organized crime and corruption took hold of the region. The most notorious gangster from this time was Kid Cann (real name Isadore Blumenfeld) who ran much of his operation from the city's West Hotel. His criminal activities included bootlegging, racketeering, and prostitution.

In the 1950s and '60s, the downtown area of Minneapolis went through a major phase of urban renewal, which involved the razing of about 200 buildings across 25 city blocks—roughly 40% of the area. This included the destruction of a slum area known as "Skid Row", but also the destruction of many buildings with notable architecture. One of the most lamented buildings was the Metropolitan Building, known simply as "the Met". Efforts to save the building (which ultimately failed) are credited with jumpstarting a much greater interest in historic preservation in the state of Minnesota.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Minneapolis, Minnesota".

This city is also known as: Minneapolis.

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