Mill City Museum Celebrates 10 Years with Free Admission and Programming, Sept. 14 and 15

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 7, 2013
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 •

Laura Salveson • Mill City Museum • 612-341-7499 •

Quick facts: 

Event: Mill City Museum's 10th Birthday Party
Date: Saturday, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15
Time: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free
Place: Mill City Museum, 704 South Second Street, Minneapolis MN 55401
Phone: 612-341-7555

Mill City Museum Celebrates 10 Years with Free Admission and Programming, Sept. 14 and 15

In 1971, the Washburn A Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places, in 1983 it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in September 2003 it opened as the newest addition to the Minnesota Historical Society's network of historic sites and museums.

On Sept. 14 and 15, come celebrate Mill City Museum's 10th anniversary and find out why visitors say it's a "must-see" cultural attraction. Admission will be free the entire weekend.


Mill City Museum's 10th Birthday Party runs Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

  • Saturday programs: families can make an “exploding” Washburn A Mill book, enjoy birthday cake courtesy of D’Amico Catering, hear a lunchtime concert by a re-created 1920 Washburn Crosby Concert Band, watch a performance by History Player William de la Barre, see a cooking demo by chef Austin Bartold, dance to the music of Salsa del Soul in the Ruin Courtyard and see Twin Cities inspired sketch comedy by Joseph Scrimshaw and Tim Uren, with an appearance by Kevin Kling who co-produced the museum's short film "Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat" a lighthearted take on the city’s history.
  • Sunday programs: families can enjoy birthday cake courtesy of D’Amico catering, build a paper model boxcar, enjoy performances by a re-created 1920 Washburn Crosby Concert Band in the Ruin Courtyard, watch a canning demonstration by Tony and Nikoline Tushar, see a performance of The Amazing Gnip Gnop Circus by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz and a performance by History Player Eva McDonald Valesh.

Throughout the weekend families can explore the museum. Mill City Museum describes in compelling, multi-sensory and hands-on ways how industry, nature and people came together to make Minneapolis the "Flour Milling Capital of the World" from 1880 to 1930. The story comes to life through the Water Lab, Baking Lab and Flour Tower, an eight-story elevator ride that enables visitors to experience the powerful, noisy, industrial process that turned wheat into flour. A rooftop observation deck offers sweeping views of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park. Mill City Museum also includes a gift shop and café.

Brief history of Mill City Museum

Originally designed by Austrian engineer William de la Barre and declared the world's largest flour mill after its completion in 1880, the structure housing Mill City Museum was nearly destroyed by fire in 1991.

After the City of Minneapolis, working through the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, cleaned up the rubble and fortified the mill's charred walls, the Minnesota Historical Society announced its intention to construct a milling museum and education center within the ruins.

Before exterior

Faced with how to preserve the ruins of this historically significant site while building a modern museum, the Society turned to Thomas Meyer, principal of Minneapolis architectural firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. Construction on the museum began in March 2001.

Meyer's design left intact many features of the original mill, including flour bins, milling machinery, the engine house, rail corridor and a wheat house. Ruins of the historic mill are showcased in the 100-by-100 foot open-air courtyard. And limestone, brick, concrete and steel were used within the museum to emphasize its industrial origins.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

This summer explore more than 500 museums statewide with the free Minnesota Museums app, brought to you by the Minnesota Association of Museums and the Minnesota Historical Society. Browse Minnesota museums by name, category or location; create an itinerary, check off museums you've visited and upload favorite museum photos; plus the app will also suggest museums based on geographic location. The Minnesota Museums app is made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.