11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Fort Snelling Upper Post

Year Listed: 2006
Location: Minnesota
Threat: Deterioration

Fort Snelling Building 101, 102, 103 - Infantry Enlisted Barracks. Fort Snelling Upper Post in Hennepin County, Minnesota was on the 2006 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Credit: Chris Morris


Fort Snelling was established in 1820 to protect fur traders and early settlers. Beginning in the late 1800s, dozens of new buildings were constructed on the Upper Bluff for training, supplies and administration. Today, Fort Snelling is a National Historic Landmark, and the Fort Snelling Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. While the original 1820s fortification is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society and is open to the public for tours, the Upper Post has had little attention for the past 25 years.  The military gradually abandoned all of the buildings in the Upper Post area after World War II, disposing of parts of the site to various federal and state agencies, and now there is no clear authority responsible for overall infrastructure or stewardship.  While several of the buildings were shuttered at the time they were vacated, many have suffered from deferred maintenance and vandalism over the years.  When listed, the historic buildings were deteriorating at an increasingly rapid rate as a result of broken windows, damaged gutters and downspouts, and deteriorated roofs -- some of which were on the verge of collapse.  The historic buildings that make up Fort Snelling's Upper Post complex occupy a unique and important place in Minnesota history.