History in the Making // Doors Open Mpls


What is Doors Open?

“…it’s a weekend-long event that allows the public free, behind-the-scenes access to buildings in the City of Minneapolis that are architecturally, culturally, or socially significant.”

I jumped at the chance to get behind the chain link fence that surrounds The Fort Snelling Upper Post when I saw it listed on the “Doors Open” site. We live very close to this site and drive by it weekly. You can see the backside of the dilapidated buildings as you drive down Hwy 5 and 62. If you have a baller in your house you might have seen the haunted looking buildings from the Neiman Sports Complex. I’ve always wondered about the history of the buildings and what the future holds for this huge space.


We learned that the place has been around since construction began in 1879 and was originally used for wounded veterans, administration and as a defense facility. It was decommissioned in 1946 and at that point transferred to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Fort Snelling Upper post was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.


  • Before the airport was here it was a the Snelling Speedway racetrack.
  • Minneapolis Parks still own the land under the Airport. If it ever moves all the land would go back to our park system.
  • Rudolf the red nosed Reindeer is still on the 3rd floor of the Nurses building. Left over from a New Years Party thrown by the VA in the 80’s it was abandoned just like the buildings waiting for someone to clean it up.
  • The buildings never had plumbing or indoor heating.
  • There used to be a bowling alley and a basketball court in one of the buildings.
  • Most of the buildings exteriors have been replaced and maintained by Sentenced-to-Serve work crews.
  • The DNR has been trying to find a developer to rehab these historic buildings since the 1970’s.


The 41 acre site will soon be home to roughly 180 families with priority given to veterans. Plymouth-based Developer Dominium is taking on the challenge of restoring and rehabbing the historic buildings, calling it the Upper Post Flats. To read more about the project you can follow this link.

I hope to make it to more next year and already have the date on my Calendar.



10AM – 5PM

Our Visit

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