Nicollet Island began as one of the rougher parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was downtown with grainmills and railyards. Now the houses that are there are historic and well-kept. Be sure to tour Merriam Street where you may catch a ride on a horsedrawn carriage.
Nicollet Island is an island in the Mississippi River just north of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, named for cartographer, Joseph Nicollet. DeLaSalle High School and the Nicollet Island Inn are located there, as well as three multi-family residential buildings and twenty-two restored Victorian-era houses located on the north end of the island. The Inn was built in 1893 as the Island Sash and Door Company. The Hennepin Avenue Bridge crosses the Mississippi here connecting Northeast Minneapolis to downtown.
The south end of the island is home to the Nicollet Island Pavilion and the Bell of Two Friends, a gift from the city of Ibaraki, Osaka Japan. The pavilion was built in 1893 as the William Brothers Boiler Works. Nearby was a large Island Power building, which was razed in 1937. It house a variety of shops driven by a cable connected to a water-powered wheel near Hennepin Island. According to the United States Census Bureau the island has a land area of 194,407 square metres (0.075 sq mi) and a 2000 census population of 144 persons.
Historical Housing District
The upper end of the island is a 19th century residential district with many architectural styles dating from the 1860’s to the 1890’s (43 historic homes).