I Love Rice Park

“This week (Valentine’s Week), we have challenged ourselves at Streets.MN to be positive, which is really much harder than complaining (you see, already I am complaining about having to not complain). So we have a theme, about which we are not entitled to be snarky, What I love about Minnesota.” – David Levinson, I Love My Commute

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Rice Park is a perfect urban park.

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There’s never a bad time of year in Rice Park. In the winter, it illuminates and warms up downtown. In the summer, it has beautiful tree cover. In the fall, you can enjoy the changing colors of the leaves against the beautiful backdrop of the St. Paul Hotel, Central Library and Landmark Center. In the spring, you can walk around and snap photos of Peanuts characters or measure yourself up against the stature of St. Paul favorite writer/alcoholic F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Rice Park is a beautiful island surrounded by equally beautiful local landmarks. It feels almost European.

The park is historic. In fact, the park is a few years older than the State of Minnesota. And, one of its amazing attributes is that it’s changed over time in that sort of beautiful urban adaptability type of way. It was first used to dry laundry and graze animals. A fountain and bandstand were added in the 1870s and electric lights in the 1880s [source]. Now, it’s a pleasant outdoor room with activities, ice sculptures, an occasional hockey rink and kitschy, yet-interesting and well-done statues.

Rice Park is a park, but it’s also an outdoor room surrounded by some of St. Paul’s most distinctive architecture.

The Landmark Center

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The St. Paul Hotel & Lawson Commons

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The Ordway Center for Performing Arts

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St. Paul Central Library

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Ice Hockey Rink

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Rice Park is magical. I love it. Happy Valentine’s Day!


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2 Responses to I Love Rice Park

  1. Luke Finsaas February 13, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Great article.

    And I’d add:

    Mears Park is a perfect urban residential park.

    St. Paul really knows how to do urban greenspace.

    Luke Finsaas

  2. Nathaniel M Hood
    Nathaniel February 13, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Mears Park is also great and, yes, I’d agree that downtown St. Paul parks are excellent greenspace.