2117 West River Road N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Monday-Friday: 8 am-4:30 pm
Part of: Above the Falls Regional Park
Acquisition and Development
The building is the first office space that the park board has owned. Until the purchase of the former warehouse and office building for its headquarters, the park board had always leased space.
The first park boards leased space in commercial buildings, including a building owned by the first president of the park board, Charles Loring, on Washington Avenue at 2nd Avenue South.
The park board later had offices in the basement of the County Court House until 1902 when it moved into the third floor of City Hall, where it remained until the 1960s. With the growth of city government in the 1960s there was less and less room for the park board. The board’s annual report in 1962 noted that the park board had been under pressure for some time to move its offices out of City Hall.
In 1966 the park board was finally forced to move and it selected space in the Public Safety Building near City Hall. That space, however, never was well-suited to the park board and in 1979 the board moved its offices to the Flour Exchange across from City Hall. In yet another move in the early 1990s, the park board and its staff moved once again, across the street to the Grain Exchange.
When the park board was informed of a steep increase in rent in 2002 for space that was ill-suited to the board’s work anyway, the board began to look at alternatives to renting space. The answer was found in an office-warehouse building facing the Mississippi River upstream from Broadway Avenue. The building was purchased in 2002 and renovated for occupancy in 2003. The land and building were acquired for approximately $3.5 million. Subsequently the park board has acquired from the city the riverfront in front of the headquarters, as well as the river banks upstream to Olson Park.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.