By Friends of the Falls | March, 30 2023
The site of The Falls Initiative is located on the Central Riverfront of Minneapolis. The land is adjacent to the Upper Lock, which is owned by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and closed to commercial navigation in 2015. The approximately three acres of land neighbors iconic Minneapolis locations such as the Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater, and Owamni by The Sioux Chef. It also borders Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and MnDOT- owned property, including a section of the Stone Arch Bridge which runs through the property.
Prior to industrialization the area around Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) was used by Dakota people for ceremonial purposes. Wíta Wanáǧi (Spirit Island) was a place women would go to give birth. The island was quarried, though, and the narrow stone jetty south of the Upper Lock is believed to be all that remains of Wíta Wanáǧi today.