The most obvious architectural statement on Minneapolis streets is the Skyway System – 7 miles of above-street passageways that enable Minneapolisians to traverse the city in winter without ever going outdoors. Those skyways connect the Upper Midwest’s most dynamic skyline, primarily fashioned with post-modern skyscrapers. Some heritage landmarks, such as the classically inspired Soo Line Building and the Andrus Building from 1898, still stand. Foshay Tower on Marquette Avenue was the first building to rise above City Hall, in 1929. That government center itself is a Richardsonian Romanesque icon. The Stone Arch Bridge across the Mississippi River is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark from 1883.
The city’s sports landmarks – baseball’s Target Field and multi-purpose Target Center – are state-of-the-art structures. Minnehaha Falls, a 53-foot high plume of water flowing through a gash of rock, has been a city symbol since the first settlers arrived in the mid-1800s, and remains a popular spot in a landscaped city park. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the star of the city park system, highlighted by the much-photographed Spoonbridge and Cherry. Cartoonist Charles Schulz was born and raised in the town and got his first job at the Minneapolis Tribune – Charlie Brown and some of his Peanuts friends can be seen outside the newspaper offices.
Recent real estate trends have created a market for apartments for sale that includes 35,000 condominium units. There are also 3,628 co-op units in the real estate mix. Renters can select from 3,781 apartments and 10,851 multi-family properties. Townhouses are popular with buyers as well, numbering 12,403. Another 171,962 other residential properties are included in the Minneapolis housing scene, many of them single family homes. The number of commercial properties totals 6,238 and there are 1,643 developments zoned for industrial use. Minneapolis Homes is a city program aiming to increase home values and decrease the number of vacant lots, which now stands at 6,631.
Metro Transit operates 132 bus lines, two light rail lines and one commuter rail across Minneapolis. The University of Minnesota offers its own shuttle system on campus, and it is the second busiest in the state. Nice Ride Minnesota is a bicycle sharing and pedicab service that has expanded to nearly 200 stations and 2,000 bikes.
Minnesota has an open enrollment system with over 100 public schools, 20 private schools and 20-plus charter schools in the city. The University of Minnesota boasts the nation’s 4th largest enrollment for four-year universities.
Of the seven hospitals in Minneapolis four are nationally recognized for specialist treatment. The Philips Eye Institute, the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Children’s Minnesota Minneapolis Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center are all highly rated by patients.
FBI statistics suggest a 1 in 23 chance for property crime and a 1 in 93 chance for violent crime in Minneapolis. The rates in Minnesota are 1 in 45 and 1 in 412 respectively.
Minneapolis is notorious for its long winters, and the cold days and long nights have contributed to the city being ranked among America’s most literate places. But Minneapolis winters are not only for staying indoors and reading – skiing and ice fishing are enduring passions and the city’s nearly 200 miles of bike routes are plowed and in heavy use. Even the farmers markets remain open through the winter. All year round the locals fight over who grills the best Jucy Lucy, a burger with the cheese melted inside the patty. It is either Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club. From fine dining to dive bars Minneapolis cuisine has been regularly feted; Food & Wine praised the city for America’s best and best-priced food in 2012.
The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District has been tabbed by USA Today as America’s finest, and only New York City has more theater seats per capita than Minneapolis. The Walker Art Center displays one of the five largest collections of modern art in the nation.
Summer means fun on the water – there is one boat for every six people here. Minneapolis has more park real estate per capita than any of America’s biggest cities, linked by the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.