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Hill's Folly: James J Hill and the Stone Arch Bridge.flv

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Uploaded on Apr 17, 2011

One of the most recognizable architectural landmarks of Minneapolis is the Stone Arch Bridge. Built by Railroad Baron James J. Hill back in 1883, the Stone Arch Bridge is the only bridge of its kind spanning the Mississippi River. Built of 100,000 tons of granite and limestone, this 2,100 foot long structure, composed of twenty-three gracefully curving arches, helped usher the railroad age into the city of Minneapolis. In its heyday, forty-eight passenger trains crossed the Stone Arch Bridge each and every day bringing thousands of travelers into and out of the central business district of Minneapolis. But as air travel replaced passenger train travel, the bridge went into decline. By 1980 it had become little more than a fenced off, derelict structure surrounded by crumbling, abandoned flour mills. In 1994 a partnership of public agencies rehabilitated the bridge for pedestrian use. Today the Stone Arch Bridge is the jewel of the brilliantly redeveloped Minneapolis Riverfront. Thanks primarily to the Minneapolis Park Board, our grandchildren, as well as our grandchildrens' grandchildren, will one day be able to stroll across the Mississippi River on James J. Hill's monument to the railroad age.

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