More Bassett’s Creek

Interesting thoughts from readers on city and park board treatment of Bassett’s Creek:

Is it possible that Minneapolis spent as much or more tunneling Bassett’s Creek in an attempt to improve north Minneapolis than it spent building a parkway along Minnehaha Creek? Someone would have to go through financial reports to determine the city/Bassett’s Creek figures. Building two tunnels, the second one 80 feet beneath downtown Minneapolis, must have had a fairly hefty price tag. What if you threw in the federal and park board dollars from the time of Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration projects in the 1930s until now on Bassett’s Creek above ground from Bryn Mawr into Theodore Wirth Park?

Perhaps the park board’s biggest missed opportunity in dealing with Bassett’s Creek was the decision to build a competition-quality youth sports complex — the one named for Leonard Neiman  — at Fort Snelling instead of in Bryn Mawr/Harrison. I don’t recall what Bryn Mawr or Harrison residents thought of the idea when it was considered in the late 1990s. Does anyone remember that discussion? It would certainly be a better location for youth sports than the distant fields of Fort Snelling (for people living almost anywhere in Minneapolis — south, north, northeast, or southeast). Whether building that complex in the central city would have spurred other development or at least raised awareness of Bassett’s Creek is hard to say, but it could’ve been positive for the neighborhoods beside and above the creek.

David C. Smith  minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com

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