The demolision of the United States Bureau Of Mines is now complete.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
The federal property, 27 acres formerly owned by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, contains the Coldwater Spring area that was part of one of the longest protests in state history in the late 1990s. Its transfer to the National Park Service in January 2010 and planned restoration is a turning point in what has been a long and sorry decline for the property, which has been vacant, neglected and ransacked during the past 15 years..
The 14 buildings previously on this site were home to world-class research scientists on taconite, mineral extraction and mine safety issues from 1950 until its closure in 1996. The land has long been a source of heavy tension between the federal government and the Dakota tribes, including a massive protest that required 600 armed officers to settle . It holds the historic Coldwater Spring area which was an important source of water and the center of the pioneer settlement in the early 19th century.
However, since then it has had a life of it’s own that has resembled neither a federal research facility nor sacred historic tribal land. Hidden on the banks of the Mississippi River, I would call the Bureau of Mines property a graffiti boot camp of some sort over the last 10 years. While one would never expect a federal building to be broken into, the amount of time this place stood empty would prove that just about any building will meet this same condition. For me, what made the property unique among those that are abandoned or in disrepair is the seemingly abrupt closure of the place. In the photos below you can see that files, paperwork, desks, and computers were all left behind. There appeared to be little effort to pack this stuff up when closing, which to me seems strange.
[slickr-flickr search=sets set=”72157617598761757″]
Source: The United States Bureau of Mines – Chad Davis flickr set