Archive | Architecture

Pleasant Ridge condos on Pleasant Avenue, Saint Paul.

Saint Paul By Bike: A Pleasant Ride

July 22, 2017 Macalester-Groveland, Summit Hill, Downtown, Lexington-Hamline (Union Park) 16.7 miles The very unconventional home at 1523 Sargent Avenue prompted my first pause, shortly after jumping on the bike. There are so many shapes, colors, angles and materials to take in. Summit Hill Downtown Pleasant Avenue became home to new townhomes in 2017 dubbed […]

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Ship Shape

August 6, 2016 West End, Downtown, Lowertown 16.3 Miles A trip Downtown via Shepard Road seemed like a good idea. And so I got onto the Sam Morgan trail and took it from Highland Park to Lambert’s Landing on the edge of Downtown and Lowertown. Docked at the Landing was an enormous Army Corps of […]

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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 Como Like tulip leaves poking through the soil foretelling spring, signs […]

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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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