Sunshine Week 1: The Lilydale Caves

As promised, for Sunshine Week 2008 I’m posting one or more government records released under open-records laws each day. In a way, it’s a full week of the FOIA Fridays I’ve been – and will continue to be – doing.

Because the emphasis to date has been on using the federal Freedom of Information Act on getting records from federal agencies, I thought I’d kick off Sunshine Week with something acquired from the City of Saint Paul, using the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, or MGDPA…

In the summer of 2004, a couple of teenagers died of carbon-monoxide poisoning in some manmade caves here in town, adjacent to the little-used Lilydale park. As a result, the City – under weaselly Mayor Randy Kelly – decided, for at least the third time in the city’s history, to permanently, once and for all, seal up those historic nuisances, which date back to the mid-1800s. To – one presumes – avert criticism, they contracted a local engineering firm to survey the caves and mines, and make recommendations about their future. That report was presented to the City in January, 2005 – and has, as far as I’m aware, never been made freely available since.

Well, I got a copy of the report, under the MDGPA – all seventy-nine pages, at twenty-five cents per page. In collaboration with the men and women of the Twin Cities Urban Exploration Cabal, whom I’m surprised didn’t get a copy before me, I’m making the report available this week, in four parts.

Today, it’s part one – the narrative portions of the report itself, which you can download here (8.95MB PDF). Throughout the rest of the week, I’ll post the remaining parts, which are almost exclusively maps and charts – including, in the fourth and final part, Cold War-era fallout-shelter maps of the caves in the area…

Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Urban Exploration | on March 17th, 2008| Comments Off on Sunshine Week 1: The Lilydale Caves

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