The Commodore: Former hotel and hotspot rose like a phoenix from 1978 explosions

The years, fires and explosions seem scarcely to have left their mark on the venerable Commodore Hotel at 79 Western Avenue. It looks much the same as it did when it opened in 1920 as an upscale residential hotel. “The gallant old building probably houses more memories of generations of St. Paulites than any other … Continue reading The Commodore: Former hotel and hotspot rose like a phoenix from 1978 explosions

The Church by the Hill: German Bethlehem Presbyterian Church has served many purposes over many years

Leaving the Interstate 35E parkway at the Grand Avenue exit, or coming and going from United Hospital, or heading to Summit Avenue from downtown, you likely notice a small, golden-colored stone building with a steeple at the corner of Ramsey Street and Pleasant Avenue, nestled at the bottom of “the big hill.” That building is … Continue reading The Church by the Hill: German Bethlehem Presbyterian Church has served many purposes over many years

James J. Hill House: Monument to a self-made man

Behind the daunting, soot-darkened red sandstone walls, the James J. Hill House at 240 Summit Avenue can give visitors a chance to sense how people coped with summer heat before air conditioning—at least how wealthy people coped. The wide halls, spacious terraces, big windows and dark interior are comfortably cool, with the help of an … Continue reading James J. Hill House: Monument to a self-made man

Landmark Center: Old Federal Building was rescued from demolition in early preservation effort

Landmark Center is a trapezoidal building that sits overlooking Rice Park between Fifth and Sixth streets, and Washington and Market streets in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Its ornate style is known as Richardsonian Romanesque or Romanesque Revival, a style that was quite popular for government buildings when that building was constructed around the turn of the … Continue reading Landmark Center: Old Federal Building was rescued from demolition in early preservation effort

The Cathedral of St. Paul: Massive, ornate structure reflects city’s diverse history

The Cathedral of Saint conveys a message of inclusiveness, with its Shrines of Nations and the catholic (in the broader sense) nature of its construction. The Shrines of Nations were a ‘thank-you’ to the countries of origin of the people who made the cathedral a reality. The six shrines are behind the cathedral’s altar, and … Continue reading The Cathedral of St. Paul: Massive, ornate structure reflects city’s diverse history

Minnesota’s State Capitol: A makeover creates a gleaming new look for the next century

One of the most prominent buildings in Saint Paul is the State Capitol. By numerous accounts it’s one of the most impressive capitols in the country, and seeing it up close doesn’t cost a dime, except maybe some change for a parking meter. A bonus is that when the weather’s good a tour will include … Continue reading Minnesota’s State Capitol: A makeover creates a gleaming new look for the next century