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Mill City Museum

Mill City Museum is a historical museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, located on the banks of the Mississippi River. Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, the museum is a monument to the industrial boom of Minneapolis, particularly the flour milling industry that powered the city’s growth.


The museum is housed in the Washburn “A” Mill complex, which was originally constructed in 1874 by Cadwallader C. Washburn. It was a technological marvel of its time and was nearly destroyed by a catastrophic explosion in 1878. Rebuilt and continued to operate until it was shut down in 1965.

In 1991, a fire severely damaged the abandoned mill, leaving behind a hollowed-out shell. The Minnesota Historical Society then took on the task of preserving the ruins and transforming them into the Mill City Museum, which opened to the public in 2003.


  • Location: 704 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Opened: September 13, 2003
  • Size: The museum covers an area that includes the ruins of the Washburn “A” Mill
  • Collection: Exhibits focus on the flour milling industry, the city of Minneapolis, and the Mississippi River


Mill City Museum is situated in the heart of Minneapolis’s historic Mill District, near the downtown area and along the Mississippi River’s west bank. It’s located adjacent to the Guthrie Theater and not far from the Stone Arch Bridge, making it part of a vibrant cultural and historical area.


For more information on exhibits, hours, and programming, visitors can access Mill City Museum’s official website.

Opening Hours

The museum’s hours vary by season and may be subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the official website before planning a visit. Typically, the museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday, with hours extending into the evening on certain days.

Things to Do

The Mill City Museum offers a variety of educational and entertaining activities:

  • Flour Tower: An elevator ride that takes visitors through the mill’s history with stops on various floors for scenes depicting the mill in operation.
  • Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat: A film that humorously relates the history of Minneapolis.
  • Water Lab: Learn about the Mississippi River’s role in the flour milling industry.
  • Baking Lab: Observe baking demonstrations and taste samples of fresh bread.
  • Observation Deck: Offers panoramic views of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, and the Stone Arch Bridge.
  • Historic Ruins: Explore the preserved ruins of the mill.
  • Exhibits: Engaging exhibits that detail the history of the flour industry, the city, and the region.

Tips For Visiting

Here are some tips to ensure a great experience at the Mill City Museum:

  • Time of Visit: Allocate at least 1.5 to 2 hours to fully enjoy the exhibits and tours.
  • Footwear: Wear comfortable shoes as there is a good amount of walking and standing involved.
  • Check Events: Look for special events and programs that may be happening during your visit.
  • Accessibility: The museum is accessible to wheelchair users and others with mobility needs.
  • Group Visits: If visiting in a group, consider booking a guided tour for a more comprehensive experience.
  • Nearby Attractions: Combine your visit with nearby attractions such as the Guthrie Theater, Stone Arch Bridge, and the Minneapolis Riverfront.


Mill City Museum is a unique cultural site that offers visitors an immersive experience into the industrial history that shaped the city of Minneapolis and the entire region. Through interactive exhibits, engaging tours, and stunning views, the museum connects the past with the present, showing how Minneapolis’s industrial heritage continues to influence the city today. It’s a must-visit destination for history buffs, families, and anyone interested in the story of Minneapolis and the Mississippi River.

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