Schmidt Brewery: St. Paul’s “castle” is now a fortress of a different color

The Schmidt Brewery sits majestically at 882 West Seventh Street, towering over the other buildings in the area. Its regal mien is appropriate, because it has a long history of being one of the leading breweries in the state, even though it now has been converted to other uses. Beer brewing has been a healthy … Continue reading Schmidt Brewery: St. Paul’s “castle” is now a fortress of a different color

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

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 Bishop: A schoolmarm in the wild west (Saint Paul)

During the first year of organized schooling in Minnesota, 1847, Minnesota was not a state or even a territory. The state’s first official schoolteacher, Harriet Bishop, held her first classes shortly after she arrived in July of that year. What she found to use as a schoolhouse was a former blacksmith shop, a log cabin … Continue reading Harriet Bishop: A schoolmarm in the wild west (Saint Paul)

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

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