Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat Background

For immediate release

Release dated: 
January 1, 2006

Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat Background

The humorous new film, “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat,” is the latest attraction at Mill City Museum. Written by local playwright Kevin Kling, the film is a quirky, informative, whirlwind tour of our fair city. It will be screened twice hourly in the museum’s newly renovated West Engine House theater and is included with the price of regular museum admission.

The West Engine House was originally constructed in 1884 to provide supplemental steam power to the Washburn A Mill. After the mill closed in 1965, it sat empty for decades and was severely damaged by the 1991 Washburn A Mill fire. Renovations began during the summer of 2005. The finished West Engine House theater space has seating for 60 people and a state of the art projection and sound system.

Mill City Museum, which opened to great acclaim in September 2003, tells the story of the birth of Minneapolis and how the industries that grew here influenced the economic, cultural and political development of the region and the world. It is a lively, “must-see” addition to the region’s cultural attractions.

The museum is an architectural showpiece, rising eight stories from within the limestone ruins of the Washburn A Mill – once the largest flour mill in the world and one of two-dozen Minneapolis mills that lined the banks of the Mississippi River.

The exhibitions and programs at Mill City Museum tell the story of the city’s rise to become the cultural and economic center of the Upper Midwest.

Exhibition highlights include:

Flour Tower – An eight-story elevator ride through the flour milling process features oral histories, historic film and photographs, and the dramatic use of lighting, sound and special effects. The ride provides a memorable trip back in time – and an appreciation for the powerful, noisy process of transforming grain into flour.
Baking Lab – In the museum’s Baking Lab, visitors watch baking demonstrations, conduct food science experiments and sample freshly baked goods.
Water Lab – Visitors get their hands wet and learn about the Mississippi River’s vital role in supplying power for the lumber and flour industries.
Rooftop Observation Deck – Visitors to the museum’s rooftop observation deck gain new perspectives as they enjoy a panoramic view of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, the historic Stone Arch Bridge and the museum’s stunning new neighbor, the Guthrie Theater.
History Players – Visitors will encounter costumed historical interpreters who portray real characters from Minnesota’s past. These characters share their stories and engage audiences of all ages in a dialogue between past and present.

Thomas Meyer, principal of Minneapolis architectural firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd., designed Mill City Museum. A 30-year industry veteran, Meyer developed a concept that melded the historic integrity of the mill structures with modern components. The design has left intact many features of the original mill, including flour bins, milling machinery, the engine house, rail corridor and a wheat house. Limestone, brick, concrete and steel within the museum emphasize its industrial origins.

The Minnesota Historical Society has been a leader in the effort to transform the Minneapolis riverfront, and Mill City Museum has become a cornerstone of this revitalization. Through this project, the Society has been able to preserve a national Historic Landmark and make it available for the ongoing use and enjoyment of the public. The Historical Society is thrilled to participate in this new neighborhood blossoming with housing, increased amenities and cultural venues such as the Guthrie Theater, Open Book which houses the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Milkweed Editions and The Loft , and soon, the MacPhail Center for Music.

Mill City Museum also includes a gift shop, cafe and changing art exhibits in the Mill Commons. It is located at 704 S. Second St. in Minneapolis.