Clarence “Cap” Wigington: Architect’s beautiful, elegant buildings endure in St. Paul

Clarence Wigington left his mark all over Saint Paul, yet his work was largely unattributed during his lifetime. Even today few recognize his many architectural accomplishments. In a sense, he was an invisible man. Wigington, known as “Cap,” was the mastermind behind the Highland Park Water Tower,* the Harriet Island Pavilion, the [now] Roy Wilkins … Continue reading Clarence “Cap” Wigington: Architect’s beautiful, elegant buildings endure in St. Paul

Summit Lookout Park: Idyllic corner atop Ramsey Hill provides premium view of city

This tiny 0.43-acre public area at the intersection of Ramsey Street and Summit Avenue is emblematic of St. Paul and its history. The decorative metal railing was salvaged from the historic Selby Avenue Bridge in 1989 and is more than a hundred years old. The retaining wall comprises stones from the High Bridge that was … Continue reading Summit Lookout Park: Idyllic corner atop Ramsey Hill provides premium view of city

Fort Snelling State Park: An oasis in the Cities

Hundreds of acres of wilderness sit peacefully in the middle of the Twin Cities. The 2900-hundred-acre Fort Snelling State Park is adjacent to the Twin Cities International Airport on Post Road off State Highway 5. The park offers a pastoral setting in an urban center, a number of recreational opportunities, and nearly as much historical … Continue reading Fort Snelling State Park: An oasis in the Cities

Raspberry Island: The little island that could

Raspberry Island has all the makings for an identity crisis. It has long lived in the shadow of its sibling and neighbor Harriet Island, and it sits literally in the shadow of the Wabasha Street Bridge. Its size and function have been altered several times, its name has changed, and it only became an actual … Continue reading Raspberry Island: The little island that could

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

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 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