HIBBING, MN — Mining is the lifeblood of the Iron Range.
Hibbing is located where it is because of the nearby Taconite mine.
A revamped attraction shows just how closely tied the community is to the industry.
Architect Andrew Lucia says the new Mine View is a tribute to the Iron Range. Born and raised in Hibbing, Lucia says he always wanted to do a project like it.
“It’s kind of ingrained in your being when you grow up here and you may not realize that not everyone has a giant hole in their backyard the size of the Grand canyon out here,” he said.
Lucia designed the revamped Mine View. Phase one opened to the public over Memorial Day.
“Phase one was really establishing the initial upper park here and getting these three primary look-outs: one up the Mesabi Iron Range, one south to the city of Hibbing and one north to the mine,” said Lucia.
Phase 2 will bring the construction of a tourist center and a map and geology room.
Phase 3 finishes it off with a ring road for walking and biking.
The project means a lot to community leaders.
“We get to showpiece the city of Hibbing. Not just the Mine View, but what we have for the city, you know, our parks and everything else we have going on in the city,” said Mayor Rick Cannata.
Around 12,000 people have visited Mine View in the month and a half since it re-opened. They came from 40 different states and 20 different countries.
“Any time you have people coming into an area, that boosts the economy, and so this is one of the biggest draws that the Iron Range has for bringing in people,” said Vicki Hagberg, the President of the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Mine View overlooks one of the largest active open-pit mines in the world. It’s a rare opportunity to see the industry in action.
“I think the Mine View is one of the focal points of our area and it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind view in the state of Minnesota.”
A one of a kind view, and a one of a kind project, celebrating the industry that brought the Iron Range to life.
“We’re really proud of the new Mine View and what it holds for the future.”
The community is still working to secure funding for phases 2 and 3. They’re hoping to continue the work next summer.