Headquarters clock tower
Photo by Mark Gustafson

Fort Snelling Upper Post Photography Exhibit
by Mark Gustafson
Mr. Gustafson's photo exhibit pays tribute to the Fort Snelling Upper Post, recently named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of "America's 11 Most Endangered Places." This project is supported in part by an Access Grant from IFP Minnesota.

IFP Minnesota Center for Media Arts

February 1 to March 29, 2007
Check the IFP website at or call 651.644.1912 for more information.

Historic Fort Snelling Visitor Center

May 5 to September 23, 2007
Visit the Fort Snelling web site for additional details.

National Preservation Conference

October 2 - 7, 2007
Visit the National Trust for Historical Preservation's web site for additional details.

Hennepin County Government Center

November 3 - 24, 2008
Hennepin County Commisioner Peter McLaughlin has asked the photographer to display the photos at the Hennepin County Government Center.

Hennepin Gallery, Hennepin County Government Center
A Level
300 S. Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 6 PM. See for more information on the exhibit.

An exhibit opening event will be held Wednesday, November 5 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM, with guest speakers at 5:30. Scheduled speakers include Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner, and Bonnie McDonald, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. They will give updates on preservation and redevelopment plans for the Upper Post. Light refreshments will be served.

Historic Fort Snelling Visitor Center

“Half Past Midnight: Will the Upper Post be Saved?” Photo Exhibit
June 5 through July 31, 2012

Between 1941 and 1945, over 300,000 Midwesterners passed through Fort Snelling on their way to military service in World War II. The sprawling complex served as an induction center, preparing volunteers and draftees to be shipped out for basic training and eventual combat. Now, decades later, local photographer Mark Gustafson has created a photo exhibit which documents the remaining structures of the once bustling fort, and poses a question which also serves as the exhibit title, “Will the Upper Post be Saved?” This exhibit is on view in the Fort Snelling visitor center and is free.

Comments from the photographer:
I began visiting the Upper Post area in January 2006 and was struck by this unique collection of historic military buildings that was decaying before my eyes. Standing among the empty buildings now, it's hard to imagine that several hundred thousand members of the armed forces passed through these doors to serve our country. Over the few short months that I visited the Upper Post, the Quartermaster's Shops (Building #63) has largely collapsed and appears beyond hope.

While photographing the Headquarters Building clock tower, I saw that the clock hands were frozen at "half past midnight," a sign that we are well past the eleventh hour for saving these structures. My exhibit is a selection of 20 images from the over 300 that I took in the course of many visits to the area in 2006, with both black & white darkroom prints and color images represented. Most of the views are exterior, but I was able to gain access to four buildings and have some interior views as well.

Mark Gustafson
1371 Knoll Drive
Shoreview, MN 55126