Category: History

Tunnels of the Twin Cities Suburbs

Notable Tunnels of the Twin Cities Suburbs

Many suburbs have retrofitted bicycle infrastructure, usually so that vulnerable users won’t slow automotive throughput. Along the way, many of these projects have spawned tunnels, which are always fun.

One of three towers on Fire Station 18.

A Tale of University Near Dale

September 17, 2019 12.5 Miles Macalester-Groveland, Summit-University/Rondo Little Free Libraries have provided second, third or more lives to countless books. The wood and plastic boxes are ubiquitous in Saint Paul and beyond. The first seed library I’ve encountered is perched in front of 1930 Jefferson Avenue in Mac-Groveland. Side note: I am collecting shots of […]

Pedestrian tunnels

Every Tunnel Tells a Story: the Underground Passageways of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Here’s a question: Why does Saint Paul have so many more tunnels than Minneapolis? Because we keep Saint Paul boring! Indeed, Saint Paul’s geography has featured the subterranean since the very beginning when Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant staked his claim at Fountain Cave. And although Saint Paul was well positioned at the northernmost navigable point […]

Virtual 1950s Streetcar to Richfield at Thursday’s Happy Hour

We’re having another streets.mn Virtual Happy Hour this Thursday. Plus, we’re going to kick off a new presentation feature, where folks stop in and present info about a topic they like. First up, streetcar history expert Aaron Issacs is going to share a video of a 1950s streetcar trip from Minneapolis to Richfield. Stop by […]

Map of Hogan's Alley, in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Freeways and Freedmen: A Familiar Story from Canada’s Rondo

Rondo was part of a roadmap which detailed the ways in which black folks across the United States could be removed from their homes and property in order to build the Eisenhower freeways. The Guardian has written about this process, alongside the Atlantic, ThinkProgress, the New York Times, and plenty of other outlets. But these […]

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It Began With a Tyrannosaurus

September 2, 2019 Downtown, Payne-Phalen, Railroad Island, Dayton’s Bluff 20.5 Miles In all my rides around Saint Paul, I’d never seen a dinosaur, nor had I ever expected to. That’s why the tyrannosaurus gazing out from a building on Pine Street on the edge of Payne-Phalen caused me to lock up the brakes on my […]

A contemporary (1890s) photograph of Mary Ward

The 150th Anniversary of People Being Killed By Cars

Mary Ward was the first person to be killed by a vehicle that we would recognize as a car. The 150th anniversary of her death was August 31, 2019. She lived in Ireland, raised some children, and published scientific work about entomology and the wonders of microscopes, a developing field at the time. You can […]

Ford Site Area C

Saint Paul by Bike: A Short Jaunt to Ford

August 30, 2019 3.9 Miles Highland Park The State Fair, or more accurately, a park and ride lot for the State Fair, gave me the chance to check out a usually off-limits part of the old Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant (TCAP) and grounds. The 22-acre area is between Mississippi River Boulevard and the Mississippi […]

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Hightailing It to Highwood

August 13, 2019 25.4 Miles West Seventh (West End), Downtown, Dayton’s Bluff, Highwood I had a simple plan for this ride. Bike the 11 miles-plus to Boys Totem Town for the closing ceremony and tour of the empty juvenile detention facility in Highwood. I estimated it would take about an hour and a quarter to […]

Highlandpark Streets

Neighborhood Character and Redlining’s Legacy

“Neighborhood character,” it turns out, can be legally defined and covenanted, as I learned recently when I spent a morning conducting research at the Ramsey County records division. I found the warranty deed abstract for the multi-block plot of land that includes my lot and house, and a significant swath of Highland District Council (HDC) […]