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Central Business District (Part II)
A unique climate-related addition to the downtown landscape in more recent years was the development of the skyway system. The first all-weather pedestrian skyway was built in 1962, spanning 7th Street South between Marquette and 2nd Avenue. Today more than 50 blocks are connected by these second story walkways. In addition to providing all-season convenience for downtown residents, employees, and visitors, the skyway system connects numerous and varied retail outlets. It is reported that downtown Minneapolis has more retail outlets in a four-block area than any other city in the country.
Also in the 1960s, Nicollet Avenue in the downtown district was converted to Nicollet Mall, a curving, tree-lined pedestrian and transit mall that is closed to automobile traffic. The Mall is accented with fountains and flower beds and hosts a busy farmers' market in the summer. Winter amenities include popular nighttime parades from Thanksgiving through Christmas featuring brightly-lit floats and participants.
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