Como Park: Historic acreage creates urban oasis

Como Park has weathered the years much as its home city St Paul has. Just as St. Paul was an outpost for the country in its early days, so Como Park was an outpost for the city, located out on its far edges. Both are centered around a body of water, Como by the lake … Continue reading Como Park: Historic acreage creates urban oasis

Mickey’s Diner: Everybody knows Mickey’s

Long before “24/7” became a popular phrase, Mickey’s Diner was operating in that mode. Mickey’s has been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week since it opened in 1939. Mickey’s Diner is a prominent St. Paul landmark, highly visible at the corner of 9th and St. Peter in downtown, a must-see for visitors. … Continue reading Mickey’s Diner: Everybody knows Mickey’s

Rice Park: Gathering place at heart of St. Paul has undergone several facelifts since 1849

Rice Park really should be named Central Park, given its situation as a hub of Saint Paul. Bounded by Fourth, Fifth, Market and Washington streets, it was one of the city’s first parks. Even today, it’s central to many of the city’s activities, surrounded as it is by the Saint Paul Hotel, Landmark Center, the … Continue reading Rice Park: Gathering place at heart of St. Paul has undergone several facelifts since 1849

St. Paul’s George Latimer Central Library: Classic building still serves as a center of learning

Serene as it appears both outside and in, the George Latimer Central Library building bordering Rice Park is something of a monument to survival. The library often struggled in its early years and even had to close during the Depression for a short time. Yet for every dip in its fortunes, the library experienced a … Continue reading St. Paul’s George Latimer Central Library: Classic building still serves as a center of learning

James J. Hill Center: Stately historic library melds the old and the new

James J. Hill is often associated with railroads, but his biggest contribution to Saint Paul was more mental than mechanical. The James J. Hill Center, formerly the James J. Hill Reference Library, has been called Hill’s “living gift” to the city and the most significant and visible civic legacy of its legendary founder. Yet, sharing … Continue reading James J. Hill Center: Stately historic library melds the old and the new

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

The Ordway: Saint Paul’s premiere arts center adds a touch of class (and glass) to downtown

One evening in the late 1970s a woman went to downtown St. Paul and couldn’t find anything to do, not even a movie to watch. She was appalled, because she loved St. Paul and hated to see it so desolate. But she didn’t just complain, because this was no ordinary woman: this was Sally Ordway … Continue reading The Ordway: Saint Paul’s premiere arts center adds a touch of class (and glass) to downtown

Oxford Theater: The roots of the Mann Theater empire are on Selby Avenue

An apparently modest, somewhat nondescript building on Selby Avenue was the site that launched an empire of movie theaters and the career of a famous Twin Cities entrepreneur. Located at 989 Selby, it has a red door flanked by glass block windows, and two second-story windows covered with arched red awnings, but aside from those … Continue reading Oxford Theater: The roots of the Mann Theater empire are on Selby Avenue

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

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