Category: History

Map of the Day: Substandard Lot Sizes in Minneapolis

There are more than 14,000 residential lots in Minneapolis that are smaller than what is currently required to build on per the current zoning code. Now, this is a messy statement. There are multiple minimum lot sizes (5,000 square feet, 6,000 square feet, and a large lot zone where the number is based on the […]

Rail-Trails of the Twin Cities

For several decades, railroads have abandoned many miles of track in the United States due to several factors including redundant routes, bankruptcies, mergers and significant government investment in roads that made shipping freight by rail less competitive than by truck. While some railroad right-of-ways have disappeared from redevelopment, others have been converted to trails that […]

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 […]