Between 1968 and 1987, the Upper Harbor Terminal site was developed as an inter-modal barge shipping terminal located at almost the head of commercial navigation on the Mississippi River. The terminal continued in operation until the closure at the end of 2014 of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock, at which time the operation shifted from using commercial barges to interim use to store commodities that are trucked to and from the site.
A historical survey that was completed in 2007 determined that the UHT site is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as part of a potential historic district that encompasses the larger Upper Mississippi Harbor. The terminal also is eligible for listing as a local Minneapolis landmark.
The site’s historic significance relates not to its architectural beauty or significance (although its four concrete storage domes are architecturally and structurally unique), but to the role the site played in the City of Minneapolis’ decades-long effort to have two new river locks built that would make Minneapolis, not St. Paul, the head of navigation on the Mississippi River.