Archive | Architecture

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Reviewing (and Grading) Saint Paul’s New Smith Avenue/High Bridge Design

The “High Bridge” is best known as an iconic place for photographs of Saint Paul’s downtown, either as a symbol framing the city or as a place to take pictures of the city. But it’s also a key transportation corridor for people on the West Side and West End, a half-mile link between two historic […]

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The Remains of a Lost Icon

July 24, 2016 St. Anthony Park, Como, North End 23 miles Another nice day for a ride, this time to the northern edge of Saint Paul. The first stop – for a window – came in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood. St. Anthony Park One of the gorgeous stained glass window at 897 Raymond Avenue. […]

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To the Gulf of Minneapolis

July 10, 2016 Downtown, West Side 18.3 Miles I frequently look at maps of Saint Paul. Call it a “blogupational” hazard. Sometimes I’ll plan a ride with the help of Google maps. Occasionally I’ll use an official City of Saint Paul paper map. Street maps from the mid and late- 1800s to the 2010s are […]

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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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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 […]

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Chart of the Day: Share of New Homes with Central Air Conditioning, 1970 – Present

An evergreen chart here from the New York Times about a seasonal (in Minnesota anyway) amenity that has radically transformed our cities and homes for the better and for the worse. Here is the chart showing the trend in the Midwest and other regions of the US: I grew up in a house with central […]

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Architectural Style: High Style vs Vernacular

We know well Winston Churchill’s famous statement, “ We shape our buildings, and they shape us.” But architectural historians know that how we shape our buildings is the outcome of cultural influences within the history of a particular time period. Realizing these factors is key to a deeper appreciation of architecture that goes beyond learning […]

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A Tale of Two Development Proposals

At the March 6th Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, two renderings of future Minneapolis developments were unveiled. One of these renderings was the long awaited new Thrivent Headquarters – a half block development that will be accompanied with paired developments on the remaining half block. Similar to the fantastic Kraus-Anderson HQ redevelopment, in methodology at least. […]

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Remnants of Stonebridge

May 20, 2016 Macalester-Groveland, Desnoyer Park 10 Miles Stonebridge. Today, it’s little more than a two block long street in Macalester-Groveland. From the 1910s into the early ‘30s, however, Stonebridge was the grandest estate in Saint Paul. To this day, the mystique of Stonebridge remains fascinating to local historians because of estate’s size, extravagance and […]

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