University of Minnesota

sights / Architecture

University of Minnesota information

Lonely Planet review

The University of Minnesota, by the river southeast of Minneapolis' center, is one of the USA's largest campuses, with over 50,000 students. Most of the campus is in the East Bank neighborhood. A uni highlight is the Weisman Art Museum (www.weisman.umn.edu; 333 E River Rd), which occupies a swooping silver structure by architect Frank Gehry. Works inside include early 20th-century American paintings. Dinkytown, based at 14th Ave SE and 4th St SE, is dense with student caf├ęs and bookshops.

The University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, straddling both banks of the Mississippi River, is one of the USA's largest campuses with over 55,000 students. The university was founded in 1851, seven years before Minnesota gained statehood.

Most of campus is in the East Bank district, less than a mile east of downtown. Another cluster of buildings is west of the Mississippi in the aptly named West Bank district. The Washington Ave Bridge connects the halves (note that the bridge's bottom deck is reserved for cars, the top deck for pedestrians and bicyclists).

The Frederick Weisman Art Museum, one of the university's highlights, is just off the Washington Ave Bridge in East Bank. The building - an angular stainless-steel structure by architect Frank Gehry - is almost blinding in its beauty. Or maybe it's simply blinding, a result of reflected sunlight on so much naked steel. Exhibits include a selection of early 20th century American painting.