Archive | Architecture

The Gulf of Minneapolis

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 Andrews St Paul

St. Andrew’s Church and the American Landscape

Many places of worship are built for unambiguously ecclesiastic use for the religious function of its parishioners. Many of us at various times of every day, subconsciously measure our everyday lives by a Gothic-inspired architectural form of a steep roofed main structure with a high narrow steeple reaching up to the sky. Architectural historian Alan […]

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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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A Schoolhouse, A Parkview, A Lakeview

April 16, 2016 Highland Park, Hamline-Midway, Como, North End 17 Miles April rides can look gloomy no matter the temperature, with few signs of spring, and sandy grit still on many roads. No matter, that first ride of the spring is always exciting. The first stop on the first ride of 2016 was 2122 Highland […]

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“A History of Future Cities” Review

I know I can’t be the only one who has wondered, while waiting through a full light cycle for a walk signal only to see that my button pressing was in vain, what it would be like to have the power of Tsar Peter the Great to create through imperial decree a city tailored to […]

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