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A commission to reopen Ft. Snelling's upper post

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Barracks
These barracks sit opposite the homes of officers on Taylor Avenue, which was nicknamed "Officers' Row."
MPR Photo/William Wilcoxen

Various state and federal agencies with a stake in Fort Snelling's Upper Post are working to stir redevelopment interest in the historic locale.

The military post was decommissioned after World War Two and its 28 buildings suffered from decades of neglect.

Now Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin says two years of repair work have made all but one of the structures fit for redevelopment.

"We've had great efforts to date to stabilize these buildings, but now we're ready to move into the next stage, where we're actually going to figure out a long-term plan for their re-use," McLaughlin said.

Broken windows
Water damage is causing the condition of these former barracks to deteriorate.
MPR Photo/William Wilcoxen

The 141 acres are publicly owned, but McLaughlin said a web of federal, state, and local agencies have a claim to the site.

He said an effort is underway to form a Congressionally-authorized commission to oversee the redevelopment in a way that preserves its historic integrity.

The area at the confluents of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers is sacred to the area's Dakota tribes, who would serve on such a commission.

The post was also the center of military activity in Minnesota for more than fifty years.