SIA Conference coming to Minneapolis/St. Paul

Oblique of the Stone Arch Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, located next to the remains of the flour mill, the Pillsbury Plant and the Grain Belt Beer sign. Photo taken at night by the author in August 2011

All eyes seem to be focused on the Midwest for this year’s conferences and tours dealing with architecture, history and preservation. Apart from the ISPC Conference last month in Michigan and the upcoming Historic Bridge Weekend Conference in Iowa in August, a conference on industrial archaeology is coming to Minnesota at the end of May.  The Society of Industrial Archaeology, based at Michigan Tech University, hosts a four day event every year, focusing on a region that is rich in industrial architecture and history. The organization has been hosting the event for 41 years, whereas a symposium devoted to historic bridges has been taking place since 1991.

This year’s event will take place May 30-June 2 in the Twin Cities at the St. Paul Hotel. Pre-conference tours and the introductory session will be on the 30th, followed by a Friday tour of the Mississippi River and its crossings, as well as places to the south of the Twin Cities (in Rice County), Film Festival and Book Signing session in the evening. Saturday will be the busiest with presentations, business lunch and the Historic Bridge Symposium, featuring presentations by six pontists from various fields, including Nathan Holth, Christopher Marston, Mark Brown, Rebecca Burrow, Amy Squitieri and Scott Newman. Kitty Henderson of the Historic Bridge Foundation, which is co-sponsoring the event with SIA, will emcee the symposium.  And a post conference tour of the Mississippi River Waterfront and the newly refurbished Union Depot station in St. Paul on Sunday will round off the event.

Information on how to register for the four day event can be obtained here. You will also find all the contact information in case of questions.  Highlights of the event will be provided by those taking part and will be posted in the Chronicles.

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