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Experience Minneapolis’ Skyway System

If you’re moving into one of our Minneapolis MN homes and haven’t spent much time in the city, it’s time to explore the Minneapolis Skyway System. What you’ll find is a fantastic mix of shopping, dining, entertainment, offices, and much more, all connected by the largest contiguous system of enclosed, second-level bridges in the world. The system has 9.5 miles of pathways connecting 80 city blocks.

Even though legend has it that the skyways were created to deal with the cold weather, that’s not true. They were meant to help relieve sidewalk traffic and make things safer for pedestrians while allowing for car traffic to move more efficiently. Still, during the chilly winters, they are a nice way to get around, especially as they connect to such a massive array of places, including offices, restaurants, bars, government services, shops, gyms, art exhibits, banks, doctors, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, salons, live theaters, three pro sports facilities, a church, and so much more!

The very first skyway, opened in 1962, but was demolished in the 80s during construction of what is now the Wells Fargo Center. However, the oldest existing skyway is the one over 7th Street, connecting the Northstar Center and the Roanoke Building. It opened in 1963. During the 1960s, construction of the skyways was scattered. The next big step in the system’s development came in 1974 with the construction of the IDS building, also the tallest building in downtown Minneapolis. It was the first to connect to buildings on all four sides. The IDS junction includes the Crystal Court atrium, the largest open public space in the system. More buildings and structures have been added over the decades, including the connection with the U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016. In fact, skyways are now included in almost all new construction in central downtown.

Keep in mind that most Skyway connected buildings are open during the week until 6 pm (hours vary) and are often closed on weekends.You may be able to find a street-level door open, but it may take some searching. Do some research in advance if you’re wanting to go later in the day or on a weekend. During the week, though, you can usually find access via any building with an attached skyway. Typically you need to head to the second floor and some elevators even have buttons marked SK instead of 2, to help guide you. Once you’re in, there are typically maps and signage to help you navigate through the system. Still, you may get lost, but there’s usually someone passing by who can help. People take pride in mastering the Skyway system.

Whether you’ve recently moved into one of the Minneapolis MN homes or are considering a move, exploring the Minneapolis Skyway System is always something fun to do. With the wide range of shopping, dining, and so much more, there’s always a reason to head up to the Skyway. If you’re looking for a home in the area, contact us today to learn more about the quality homes we build and the great communities in which we build them.

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