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

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

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

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

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