Then & Now: Saint Paul’s Seven Corners

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.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.

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