Coldwater Spring Property
Coldwater Spring is located at 5601 Minnehaha Park Drive South, Fort Snelling, MN 55111. The National Park Service was granted the land in 2010 from the Federal Government. The property connects Minnehaha Park with Ft. Snelling Park via pedestrian trails and bicycle paths.
The property was last home to the Bureau of Mines: Twin Cities Research Center. The buildings were constructed primarily during the late 1950's through the early 1960's.The Research Center developed significant mining safety equipment, mining technologies and mineral extraction processes used worldwide. Federal funding for the Bureau of Mines was permanently eliminated in 1996; by 1997 the buildings were vacated and remained vacant until their demolition in 2011. Prior to ownership of the Minneapolis site (29 acres including the bicycle paths) by the Bureau of Mines, the property was originally part of a larger parcel owned by the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA).
Until 2011 there were still 12 buildings on the site, including vacated offices, laboratories, garages, maintenance shops, core sample storage sheds, an ore crusher building and miscellaneous storage and research areas. Click the image to the right for an aerial view of the site before restoration. (Click here for a closer look at the buildings. PDF)
The area is also valued for its relationship to historical events, including those associated with American Indian history as well as the expansion of the United States and settlement. The site still contains remnants of features representing the time when Coldwater Spring served as the waterworks for Fort Snelling.
Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.