Last Friday, streets.mn published Part 1 of author Wolfie Browender’s adventures exploring the now-defunct Ramsey County jail. If you missed it, go check it out and learn about inmate moonings and buttonless elevators! This post continues his journey exploring the jail from the outside and chronicles his journey home.
June 16, 2015 – Highland Park, West End/West 7th, Downtown – 16.2 miles
After my release from the Adult Detention Center, my jaunt continued Downtown with a stop at 345 Cedar Street, the soon-to-be the former home of the Pioneer Press newspaper.
Originally built as the headquarters of Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company, 345 Cedar was constructed in 1955. The Pioneer Press replaced Minnesota Mutual as the tenant in 1984.(1)
From Cedar Street, I went south to Shepard Road to look at the old jail from ground level.
Resuming my eastward travel, I saw some grocery carts parked amidst some bushes growing out of the bluff.
Continuing east in the parking lot, it merged with 2nd Street as I neared Jackson Street. As I explored, I went the wrong way on two one-way streets, first Jackson and then 2nd. My reasoning–turning around and riding the correct direction would add at least a mile and some valuable time to my ride. I was unwilling to sacrifice time with the sky portending rain.
Determining the exact history of the building that is now the Ramsey County Government Center East has been elusive.
The landscape on the west side of the Government Center is a public area, part of which is The Saint Paul Cultural Garden. There is no prominent signage pointing that out, only a granite block with a metal marker. Dedicated in 1993, the Saint Paul Cultural Garden was created by 10 artists(2) for the 150th anniversary of the naming of the City of Saint Paul.
(click on any thumbnail to enlarge the images and see the captions.)
Leaving Downtown, I saw how drastically the demolition of 7 Corners Hardware alters the area.
Nearly every bike ride is an adventure. This one stands out because of the visit to the former Ramsey County jail. It was a fun and educational experience, one that I was very lucky to have. I hope you’ve felt some of my enthusiasm as you read this post.
Click HERE to see the map of this ride.
- Minnesota Mutual Building and Saint Paul Urban Renewal Historic District: National Register Evaluation; Metropolitan Council website; http://www.metrocouncil.org/METC/files/92/92bc5727-84d3-4256-84a5-469209a57fe2.pdf
- St. Paul Foundation website; http://www.saintpaulfoundation.org/_asset/wz4n0b/
- Grammar and Dictionary of the Dakota Language: Collected by the Members of the Dakota Mission; Minnesota Historical Society ©1832
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