The Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory was established in 1938 as the
Saint Anthony Hydraulic Laboratory. Its unique location on Hennepin
Island in the middle of the Mississippi River at the apex of Saint
Anthony Falls allows the lab to use the hydraulic head of the falls
to provide water flow for a wide array of experiments and simulations.
The lab once focused on modeling rivers and dams. With the slowdown
in dam building, the lab performs research into other physical earth
sciences, and performs modeling and simulation of dam removals and
river restoration projects. The lab is affiliated with the University
of Minnesota, and supports projects including those that are funded
by the National Science Foundation.
The photo above is a telephoto view of the laboratory building as seen
from downtown Minneapolis. The facility sits on the downstream face of
the Upper Saint Anthony Falls dam. An old spillway at the dam is used
as an outdoor stream lab to model the dynamics of smaller rivers. The
building has 2 floors above the river water level, and 3 floors located
below the water level of the river.
These two photos are views of the laboratory from the west bank
of the Mississippi River. The photo above is a downstream view from the
Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater. The photo below is an upstream
view from an observation deck on the Third Avenue Bridge.