Rising above the century-old cobblestones of Main Street, the historic Pillsbury A-Mill is an iconic Twin Cities and National Historic Landmark. Now reimagined as affordable artist apartments, it remains a physically impressive reminder of the origins of the city of Minneapolis as the flour milling capital of the world.
The building retained many of the historic features of the original mill, including the original stone foundation and exterior. The interior design also incorporated much of the mill’s internal operations equipment such as chutes, pulleys, and lifts, seamlessly integrating them into the new spaces to create a look that is bold and modern, but also tells the story of the building’s past. The 251-unit building includes many art studios, galleries, and gathering spaces for artists to pursue their craft, show their work, and collaborate with other residents.
The mill originally drew power from the Mississippi River–right outside its front door–from a hydroelectric system. Combining modern generating equipment with this existing infrastructure generates clean, renewable energy that provides electricity for over 70 percent of A-Mill’s peak power needs. The building is LEED Gold certified thanks to this system and other sustainable initiatives.