Fort Snelling reopens after two-year renovation project

The grand reopening of the historic Fort Snelling kicked off Saturday by welcoming visitors to check out its new look, after two years of construction.

The historic space is now open to the public year-round. 

“It’s incredible. They’ve done such a good job of tying in the entire history of this location,” Cameron Hillman, Fort Snelling visitor, said.

Historic Fort Snelling is connecting the past to the present.

“It’s fascinating to see and sad certainly at times,” Meara Hillman, Fort Snelling visitor, said. “These are things that I never learned in school, and so it’s been really wonderful to be reeducated in all of this.”

The Minnesota Historical Society gave Fort Snelling a facelift keeping the old, while mixing in the new.

“This rehabilitated space within a 1904 cavalry barracks, but it is a new museum and visitor center for us and we’re just overjoyed to have the public back,” Ben Leonard, Minnesota Historical Society representative, said.

People can walk through different moments of history inside the brand new visitor center and museum.

The historical society says the nearly $35 million renovation is for visitors to study, learn and reflect.

“There’s new sidewalks, paths, interpretation and overlooks and really a lot of opportunities for people to engage with the landscape. This is a 10,000 year story,” Leonard said.

Some were a part of that story. The Flecks worked in Fort Snelling in the 1980s.

“It’s kind of hard to explain because we’re back in time,” Ron Fleck, Fort Snelling visitor, said. “We’ve been retired for so many years and they did such a nice job here. It’s fantastic.”

Visitors spent the day piecing together years of complex stories that shape history in Minnesota.

Fort Snelling will be open May 29 and 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

There are events planned all summer to check out the new additions to the historic area.

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