Author: Robert Roscoe

About Robert Roscoe

“A camera teaches you how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange My professional experience includes over 36 years of architectural office experience, with the last 21 years as principal of Design For Preservation. My education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, and five years at the School of Architecture, University of Minnesota. I served 21 years on the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and I have written articles for Architecture Minnesota, a publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. I have given lectures on preservation architecture at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture and various public forums. Art photography is a main avocation for me, focusing on capturing images of abandoned parts of the built environment, and I have been featured in several art exhibitions. I have co-authored a book on County Catholic Churches and am the author of the book Milwaukee Avenue – Community Renewal in Minneapolis. Also, I am editor of the infrequently published Journal of American Rocket Science.

The Main Way Saint Paul and Minneapolis are Different: an Investigation

I am aware many Saint Paul people have a sense of and celebrate the fact their city is special in various ways. On the other hand, it seems to me most Minneapolis people acknowledge what their various places have to offer although they do not have an identity with their city, while at the same […]

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Saint Paul Places to See and Visit – A to Z

Here’s an alphabetical list of Saint Paul sights. Enjoy!   Asian Main Street, between Marion Street and Lexington Avenue Art Moderne Storefront on early 20th century building, 2556 West University Ave, STP Assumption Catholic Church, 1874 downtown STP Bandana Square, five former railroad buildings, STP Best city Councilperson: Jane Prince, 7th Ward, STP Bungalow Court, […]

Streets For Drag Racing in Brainerd

Attending Washington High School in Brainerd, Minnesota, my hot rod friends and I used several streets that made good drag racing places. In fact, the street in front of the high school was one of them. The mandatory “Start” location was a fire hydrant near the physics classroom, where several of us hot rodders were […]

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Book Review: A People’s History of the Seward Neighborhood

The new book, A People’s History of the Seward Neighborhood, provides a narrative on Seward West Neighborhood that is needed for a comprehensive account of the 35-block area of the Seward Neighborhood. Most of the information is accurate. However, other passages fall short due the writers’ not being able to gain a needed grasp of […]

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St. Andrew’s Church and the American Landscape

Editor’s note / correction: The original post did not state that Bob Roscoe is a paid consultant on this project. Per streets.mn editorial policy #14, possible conflicts of interest should be disclosed before publication. streets.mn regrets the error.   Many places of worship are built for unambiguously ecclesiastic use for the religious function of its […]

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A Tale of Two Bridges

Two bridges spanning the Mississippi River — one connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and a similar bridge crossing the river a mile and a half upstream — exhibit design characteristics reflecting significant changes in how people move across bridges throughout our cities.    The Saint Paul-Minneapolis structure joining East Lake Street and Marshall Avenue was […]

Minnesota State Fair

My Annual Minnesota State Fair Experience

For the last however many years I ride my bike from my Prospect Park Neighborhood to Como Avenue, then park my bike in a bike corral next to an entrance near Snelling Avenue. A bike corral volunteer hands me a two-part numbered tag that I put on my bike, then I buy my State Fair […]

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The Abandonment and Rescue of Landmark Center in Saint Paul

In 1969, demolition of one of the most elegant Richardson Romanesque-Chateauesque-Style public buildings in the Upper Midwest seemed imminent. The federal government had declared the nearly vacant Federal Courts and Post Office Building (later named Landmark Center) in downtown St. Paul to be surplus property. Many public officials and business leaders in the city saw […]

The Story of Rice Park

Through provident circumstances, Rice Park has been able to maintain the whole of its land and its remarkable features while its surrounding buildings have maintained their handsome architectural solidity, preserving strong edges to the park. In this aspect, these stalwart edges meet architectural historian Christopher Alexander’s statement, in his book A Pattern Language, that “The […]

The Story of Saint Paul’s Selby Avenue Tunnel

As Saint Paul’s population grew in the late 19th Century, people began moving out of the city’s core and into residential areas adjacent to downtown. The Selby Avenue streetcar line was built in 1888 to provide people with transportation from their homes on top of the hill to the offices, factories, and shops downtown, and to […]