This the Seven Corners area of Saint Paul, running down the hill from the cathedral toward the river and downtown. On the top is an aerial photo taken in 1947 and again by satellite today (click it a few times to enlarge it, if you wanna dive in).
So many differences! Note the absence and presence of buildings. Note how thoroughly the road network has been changed, not just in Seven Corners but also leading into downtown. A whole bunch of freeways and institutional uses (St Paul College, the Children’s Hospital, the Xcel arena, and the Historical Society) have replaced the vast majority of dense residential housing that used to exist here.
In my mind, these kinds of changes have contributed to the sense of isolation between downtown Saint Paul and the surrounding neighborhoods. On almost all sides, there is little continuity between downtown Saint Paul and anything next to it.
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