Map Monday: Saint Paul What Even Am I Looking At

Here’s a map on the wall at the new Treasure Island Center in downtown Saint Paul, which is the old Macy’s Building which was the old Dayton’s, which was designed by famous mall architect and quasi-pedestrian-focused architect Victor Gruen to be a windowless box. Today it has windows in it thanks to a drastic deconstructive remodel courtesy of the Saint Paul Port Authority, which owns the building now.

Anyway, inside the walls of the new/old building are a few large “arts” and graphical images bearing slogans such as “Something is Happening” and “THERE’S A NEWNESS IN SAINT PAUL”, along with this map.

But, other than showing the central portion of the city of Saint Paul, what is this even a map of?

Weird Port Authority St Paul Map

So I have stared at this map for an hour and cannot figure out what is going on here. Is it past or present or future transit lines?

No, no, and no.

Weird freeway-centered lines and blobs, a pink line up Jackson Street, random dots, some sort of jogged line on Selby Avenue, a line down Highway 52…

Please leave theories of what this map is supposed to be in the comments.

Come see it for yourself at the streets.mn Happy Hour this Thursday! The Stacked Deck Brewery is conveniently located on the other side of the building.

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9 Responses to Map Monday: Saint Paul What Even Am I Looking At

  1. bob roscoe February 4, 2019 at 11:47 am #

    On behalf of many of my city (Minneapolis) residents who are looking for adventure in downtown Saint Paul, this is a step up from the hand-written paper sign that used to be at the pay booth of a Saint Paul downtown parking ramp that gave instructions on how to get back to Minneapolis.

  2. Zack February 4, 2019 at 12:03 pm #

    I’d wondered the exact same thing! I have no new ideas as to what might actually be the significance of the different markings, though. I had the first three thoughts that you did, but those fizzled out quickly.

  3. Frank Phelan February 4, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

    Funny, I saw this on Saturday. I wondered a bit when I saw it, but mostly I was wondering how to find Stacked Deck brewing after entering the building on the Wabasha side.

    So now I’m not sure what the map is about, or why there isn’t better signage directing people to Stacked Deck, which is on the Cedar Street side.

  4. David Greene February 4, 2019 at 9:35 pm #

    Why does Snelling Ave. not exist north of 94?

    I thought maybe planned bikeways or street paving/improvements but neither would fit with the markins on 52 and 94 east of downtown.

  5. Elizabeth Larey February 5, 2019 at 7:06 am #

    Sure looks like the Metro in DC. The dots 👀 identical.

  6. Nemer February 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

    Wow someone needs to get fired over this sh1t!

  7. Lou Miranda February 6, 2019 at 9:50 pm #

    Maybe it’s non-transportation infrastructure? Wastewater, pumping stations, electric substations, or fiber internet??

    The Boring Company’s tunnels?

    St. Paul Winter Carnival hidden medallion locations?

  8. Andrew Evans February 11, 2019 at 11:08 am #

    Could have been a pure graphic design project, creating something generic for use as a background. As pointed out, it has elements of a transit map, along with a street map, but has the problem of being silly since it doesn’t really do anything.

    Kind of reminds me of this – https://sashat.me/2017/06/03/roman-roads/

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