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

The Saint Paul Hotel: Everyone who’s anyone has slept there

When the Saint Paul Hotel officially opened on April 18, 1910, the city’s movers and shakers enjoyed an 11-course dinner at the hotel, and heard speeches by railroad magnate James J. Hill, Archbishop John Ireland, Governor Adolph Eberhart, and future Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler. The hotel lobby and dining room were decorated with 6,000 … Continue reading The Saint Paul Hotel: Everyone who’s anyone has slept there

Harriet Island: Not a real island but a longtime center for recreation in Saint Paul

Harriet Island is one of St. Paul’s oldest parks, dating from 1900, when Justus Ohage, the city’s Commissioner of Public Health, donated the property to the city. He had raised money and mortgaged his own house to acquire the island and create a healthy recreation site for the city’s citizens. Ohage believed, “In the health … Continue reading Harriet Island: Not a real island but a longtime center for recreation in Saint Paul

The High Bridge: City’s long-beloved span gets a face lift in 2018

The aptly named High Bridge in Saint Paul is closed from September 2017 through December 2018 for redecking, adding new pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and improving the road approaches. While that work is underway, here’s a look at the bridge’s storied past. On February 24, 1985, the High Bridge, one of Saint Paul’s most visible … Continue reading The High Bridge: City’s long-beloved span gets a face lift in 2018

Fort Snelling: First European military outpost in Minnesota barely survived the interstate highway system

If you’ve ever wondered what pioneer life was like--and who hasn’t?--spend a summer afternoon at Historic Fort Snelling experiencing an array of “living history” exhibits, talking with actors in costume and in character, and browsing the 17 restored buildings there. The historic fort has seen decay, disruption and change but now has been restored and … Continue reading Fort Snelling: First European military outpost in Minnesota barely survived the interstate highway system

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

The Capitol Mall: Historic memorials and tributes adorn the capitol lawn

There’s much more to the Capitol Mall than meets the eye. If you’ve driven by and never stopped to explore, you likely think it’s a large grassy lawn with some run-of-the-mill statues where not much changes over the years: an attractive open space leading up to the Capitol building. In fact, the statues and memorials … Continue reading The Capitol Mall: Historic memorials and tributes adorn the capitol lawn

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