Grand Rounds Completion Coalition (GRCC)
-Brief History of the Grand Rounds:
Late 1800's: The idea of the Grand Rounds first came around in 1883, where a newly formed Board of Park Commissioners were tasked with conserving land in Minneapolis to preserve it’s unique character, and to establish Minneapolis as a booming Metropolis. They contracted Horace Cleveland, one of the most prominent minds in landscape architecture in the time, to design a largescale park system that would encompass both of the Twin Cities.
Early 1900s: The Park Board started acquiring large swaths of land, especially along the river, to create their Grand Rounds loop.
By 1902, only about half of the necessary land had been acquired for the "Grand Rounds" by the Park Board.
Small amounts of progress were made under several different Parks and Recreation Directors before and after WWI.
1930-1960's: The Great Depression was a time of almost no progress, until we saw some of the New Deal programs go into effect. There was slow but steady progress up until WWII when most of the nations resources were shifted to war efforts. Following World War II we saw an explosion of highway building and car manufacturing. This lead to freeways, interstates and highways being built all over the state and especially through the bustling city centers of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
1970's: The Grand Rounds project was basically forgotten about until now; when the Parks and Recreation Board hired an architecture firm to reanalyze the trail system. The firms push was to incorporate the Great River Road, following the Mississippi River, into the Grand Rounds project. At this time in landscape architecture, renewing once industrial river fronts was popular. This connected a lot gaps in the system but there was never a solution to unify the system. Since the 1970's there was little done to complete the system until...
2000's: In 2008 when the Parks Board published the Missing Link Development study. This proposal was met with lots of opposition by some of the citizens in Northeast Minneapolis. The project was dropped and once again set aside to collect dust on the shelf.
2010's: South East Como Improvement Association reopens the conversation and heads the creation of the Grand Rounds Completion Coalition. Working with other neighborhoods in northeast Minneapolis they begin to explore all available options to improve the connectivity between their neighborhood those on the other side of the rail yard that makes up the southern border of their neighborhood.
-Next Steps in the Project:
At the latest GRCC Meeting on February 24th, 2015 the majority of attendees seemed to agree that the focus of this coalition should be on connectivity to the Southeast neighborhoods in general, not solely the Grand Rounds project. The completion of the Grand Rounds would fit within that goal but voters saw no reason why that should be the only focus.
The focus is going to be on pushing MNDOT to incorporate pedestrian/bike study into their study of the I-94/280 redevelopment study.
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