The Minnesota Historical Society announced that Historic Fort Snelling will fully reopen to the public on May 28 after three years.
Work on the $34.5 million "revitalization project" began in June 2020, and among other improvements, has seen the site's dilapidated "non-historic" visitor center demolished, while the former cavalry barracks has been transformed into the new Plank Museum and Visitor Center.
Per the MNHS, the overall goal of the project is to "enhance the visitor experience with a new visitor center, connections to the natural landscape, and program improvements that will orient visitors and engage them as they encounter 10,000 years of enduring human significance at Bdote."
The $34.5 million project included $19.5 million appropriated by the state, plus $15 million pledged in private donations. A push in early 2018 gained momentum for this project to come to life, with then-Gov. Mark Dayton signing a bonding bill that included funding for Fort Snelling and other statewide historic sites.
The site's buildings and grounds were determined to not be serving the public well prior to the revitalization project. As well as the new visitor center and museum, the landscape surrounding the area was also updated to provide educational experiences outdoors and "for reflection and commemoration."
In addition, parking and public access at the site was improved. MNHS also "worked with community partners that helped expand the stories of the military, Dakota, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, women and more."
Other statewide historic sites, such as the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum; the Folsom House; the Comstock House; Historic Forestville; Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post; Forest History Center; Jeffers Petroglyphs; Snake River Fur Post; and the Oliver Kelley Farm will all reopen between May 27 and June 10.
For full dates and events, click here.