A Kind of Hush

Sarah Lemanczyk, photo by Karl Herber / karlherber.com Looking up at the St. Paul Central Library’s four stories of pink Tennessee marble makes you feel small. The Italian Renaissance building, its façade decorated in classical columns and pilasters, looks as though it belongs in a city of grander scale. And indeed, it’s a remnant of […]

The Strong, Silent Type

You can’t spit in Lowertown without hitting a plaque denoting one historically significant edifice or another. Warehouses stand shoulder to shoulder, erected in a passel of architectural styles—from Italianate to Richardsonian to Beaux Arts—monuments to a zeal for development that’s matched only by the recent condo craze. Many of these majestic industrial buildings, like the […]

Rake Appeal { Sweet Spot

There’s enough history in Minnehaha Park’s 193 acres that it feels worthy of a Ken Burns documentary film. There’s the home of the first permanent settler west of the Mississippi—the transplanted John H. Stevens house. Originally built around 1850, it was in this house that the word “Minneapolis” was first tossed around. The Pergola Garden […]

Rake Appeal { Sweet Spot

Standing where Cedar and Riverside Avenues cross, it’s hard to believe that this was once the blondest intersection in all of Minneapolis. In the 1800s, it was home to the city’s largest concentration of Scandinavian immigrants. Today, framed by the looming Riverside Plaza Towers and the long-standing 400 Bar, the neighborhood is still defined by […]

Browsing Chinatown

St. Paul’s Chinatown isn’t of the polished, touristy variety celebrated by chambers of commerce in other cities. There are no novelty pagodas or souvenir key chains. What exists here is a multi-ethnic community that lives, shops, and eats within its borders. Every shop entrance is a mural of advertisements for practical services: tax preparation, real […]