Fort Snelling earns 'National Treasure' designation

- Fort Snelling has been named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "National Treasures." 

The nonprofit held a news conference Wednesday to announce the designation. The historic military fort, located in St. Paul, Minn. where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet, is the first site in Minnesota to receive this designation. 

The National Treasures campaign was launched by the National Trust to help protect and preserve important pieces of American history, according to the organization's website. 

The distinction lends a lot of leverage as the Minnesota Historical Society and other groups continue to push for renovations and preservation of the old “upper post.”

Many of the 48 buildings on the grounds, built just after the civil war, have sat unused and have been falling apart for years. Last year, renovations began on some buildings to house homeless veterans.

“With this designation we believe Fort Snelling is of critical national significance, that we care deeply about its future and we'll be working arm and arm with all of you to create an even more vibrant future for it,” Stephanie Meeks, the CEO of the National Trust, said.

Governor Dayton has already asked the state Legislature for $34 million to help renovate some of the old barracks into a new visitor center for the original fort.

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