Historic Fort Snelling Revitalization Project
Reintroducing Historic Fort Snelling
After more than two years of rehabilitation and improvements, MNHS is excited to reintroduce the public to Minnesota’s first National Historic Landmark - Historic Fort Snelling.
Here on Dakota homeland known as Bdote, come learn, share and connect to all of the complex stories of those who crossed paths here and shaped history in Minnesota – from the Dakota, Ojibwe, and enslaved people, to fur traders, immigrants, soldiers and veterans.
The revitalization project includes the removal of a failing 1980s underground visitor center and creation of the dynamic new Plank Museum & Visitor Center inside a rehabilitated 1904 cavalry barracks. The new center welcomes visitors with exhibit spaces and galleries, meeting rooms and classrooms, plus accessible restrooms, a museum store, and grab-and-go food and beverage. It will be open to the public year-round.
Visitors will also experience expanded outdoor learning opportunities in the revitalized landscape with stunning river overlooks, paved and unpaved pathways, native plantings, enhanced interpretive spaces and places to reflect as well as a picnic area, improved accessibility, and parking.
As part of the project, MNHS worked with community partners to design a new interpretive plan for the site that brings more depth to the cultural understanding and features more histories of the many people who have been part of its remarkable history, including Dakota, Ojibwe and other Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans, women, soldiers, veterans, and more.
The reopening of Historic Fort Snelling represents the culmination of $34.5 million in improvements, $19.5 provided by State of Minnesota appropriations and $15 million in private funding. MNHS could not have accomplished this significant feat without this substantial support from the state appropriations made by the Minnesota Legislature and approved by the Governor, as well as the invaluable private support we received from many donors, including Raymond D. Plank, Ruth and John Huss, Eugene C. and Gail V. Sit Foundation and Sit Investment Associates Foundation.
More about this project
The Minnesota Historical Society would like to express our sincere appreciation to our dedicated community partners who have participated as members of the Dakota Community Council (DCC) since June of 2017. Members of this working group have provided much needed guidance and expertise to help MNHS expand the interpretation of this site's complex history, and includes the following:
Carly Bad Heart Bull
Darlene St. Clair
Cheyanne St. John
Tamara St. John
James (JB) Weston
Experience Historic Fort Snelling this summer.