Then & Now: Red’s Savoy Inn and Environs

The east end of downtown Saint Paul is a fascinating and desolate place. The gap between the East Side and downtown can sometimes feel like a grand canyon of asphalt, but with the new Lafayette bridge, road and trail connections, and the Saints’ stadium all under construction, maybe it’s going to begin to feel different in the future.

So I dived back into the amazing Minnesota Historic Aerial Photo Archive and put together a “then and now” showing what this neighborhood looked like back in the 1940s. As you can see, it was chock full of railroad tracks and industrial land.




For fun, I zoomed in on Red’s Savoy Inn pizza, a famous local landmark, known for its great atmosphere and for the fact that cars have kept slamming into the front of the building.



In my experience, it’s the areas just on the edge of downtowns that have seen the most historical change over the last century. This is a great example.

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.