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  • Stone Arch BridgeStone Arch Bridge Minneapolis, Minnesota
    The Stone Arch Bridge is a railroad bridge that spans the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota and was constructed in 1883 by railroad magnate James J. Hill for his Great Northern Railway. It is now used as a pedestrian and bike bridge and is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 as a portion of the St. Anthony Falls historic district. There is a plaque by the bridge that says it was constructed to bring wheat from the Red River Valley and Canada to the Minneapolis mills; although it has been changed somewhat. Two of the arches were changed to a truss system when the lock and dam were constructed at St. Anthony Falls, to allow the barges to pass through. In 1965, three of the piers were damaged by floodwaters, which caused the bridge to sag, so it was strengthened with reinforcements under two of the arches. While it was in use for the railroad, the bridge handled trains of various railroads going to and from the Minneapolis Great Northern Depot, that included Hill's Great Northern Railway's Empire Builder. In 1978, it wasn't used for trains anymore, so in the 1990s, after years of non usage, it was repaired and transformed into a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. This path is part of the city's park and trail system, also forming part of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail that has interpretive plaques telling visitors about the history of the area. In the summer, the bridge becomes a haven for festivals around St. Anthony Main and Historic Main Streets. The Stone Arch Festival of the Arts happens every Father's Day weekend and showcases many of the local artisans. On the Fourth of July, as well as the Minneapolis Aquatennial in later July draws crowds since the fireworks are shot off from the nearby Hennepin Island. The bridge has some great views of the city's skyline, the Mill City museum, Pillsbury "A" Mill and other significant areas in the district.  The bridge is 2100 feet long and weighs around 50 tons, with 23 arches and is the second oldest bridge over the Mississippi and oldest structure in the city of Minneapolis. The story of how James Hill came to build the bridge, once called "Hill's Folly", and the early years of the city of Minneapolis is one of perseverance and persistence, with Hill laughing the last laugh, as well as becoming one of the wealthiest men in the region.

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 Avis Rental Car Reservations Minneapolis

Avis Car Rentals Minneapolis-St. Paul Intl. Apt.
 4650 Glumack Dr.
Minneapolis Downtown Avis Rental Cars
 829 Third Ave. S.
Avis Car Rentals Brooklyn Center
 1299 Brookdale Center

  • Lyndale Park Rose Garden
    The Lyndale Park is found on the northeast shore of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Minnesota, next to the Lakewood Cemetery and sits between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun; just a portion of the large green space the encompasses the city. The green area is spread around the city, and is called the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, and is one of the seven districts that are located inside it, called the Chain of Lakes, with others called, Theodore Wirth, Mississippi River, the Downtown Riverfront, Victory Memorial Parkway and Minnehaha. Lyndale is 61 acres large, with four garden areas; the Peace, Perennial, Rose and Perennial Trial. The Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird sanctuary is located next to the Peace Garden. There is a marvelous arboretum that was created by Theodore Wirth in 1907, and by 1915, the majority of the plants were in the ground. Numerous of these plants are still blooming, with the larger collections including crabapple trees and roses. There are many heritage trees, that were the biggest or oldest in the city, and these include; Austrian pine, Japanese yew, wafer ash, cucumber magnolia, river birch, white fir, golden larch and mugo pine. Their rose garden is the second oldest in the country, and also designed by Theodore Wirth. It is just an acre, but filled with close to 60,000 blossoms at its peak period. It was started in 1907, and the test garden added in 1946. There are over 4000 plants altogether, with 250 varieties; and two fountains border each side, the bronze and marble Heffelfinger Fountain came from the Villa Monstalto by Florence, and donated in 1944 by Frank Heffelfinger. This beautiful fountain has a cherub surfing atop a dolphin on its top, which is encompassed round by satyrs. The human faces on the pedestal base highlights the progress of age. The perennial garden and the perennial trial garden was constructed in 1962-63, after the Phelps turtle fountain was transferred here from the downtown gateway to the eastern end of the garden. There are two elongated perennial borders along the edge, with six annual beds highlighted between the borders. This has become one of the most favorite places to hold weddings, situated between the fountains giving magnificent views of blossoming flowers of many varieties. The trial garden was just recently planted, and showcases perennials that will be tested over a few seasons to check their disease resistance, hardiness and more features. The Thomas Sadler Roberts bird sanctuary has become an exotic area for migratory songbirds during the spring season, especially the warblers. The Minnesota Audubon Society has free tours on Tuesdays in April and May beginning at 9 AM. This is a very peaceful and serene place to relax and watch the plethora of birds that frequent the park, with a wonderful nature walk in the middle of the city. The Lyndale Farmstead Park is located elsewhere, housing a recreation center, the Theodore Wirth house, that is listed on the National Register of Historic Houses.

February 11, 2011