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St. Paul’s Architecture

St. Paul’s Architecture: A History

Jeffrey A. Hess
Paul Clifford Larson
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    St. Paul’s Architecture
    Book Description:

    From the grand boulevard of Summit Avenue to the gleaming State Capitol, St. Paul's Architecture presents more than 225 notable surviving buildings and the history of several neighborhoods in the city. With historical photographs and illustrations, this engaging book is a valuable resource not only for those interested in architectural heritage but also for anyone who admires St. Paul's unique beauty and charm.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9164-7
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-xvi)
  4. PREFACE St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xxi)
    Jeffrey A. Hess and Paul Clifford Larson
    (pp. xxiii-xxvi)

    St. Paul has long been known for its magnificent residential drive known as Summit Avenue, but the city’s architectural heritage is much more than this single road through the past. Preservation districts now embrace the warehouses of Lower Town, the houses nestled around Irvine Park in Upper Town, the largely working-class neighborhoods of Dayton’s Bluff on the East Side, and the extreme west end of the city’s old transportation corridor on University Avenue. For all of these marks of recognition and preservation of its architectural heritage, there has been no connected effort to view St. Paul’s landmarked areas and buildings...

  7. CHAPTER 1 St. Paul’s Founding Years, 1840 – 1875
    (pp. 1-36)

    Before the airplane, before the motor car, before the railroad, there was the river, and the grandest river of all was the Mississippi, a majestic glide of water 2,350 miles long, sweeping through the heartland of the young American nation, carrying all manner of traffic, trade, and tradition upstream and downstream, between Minnesota and the Gulf of Mexico.

    In the mid-nineteenth century, the city of St. Paul prided itself on being at the head of navigation on the Mississippi, and its citizens viewed the river through proprietary eyes. Early efforts at civic promotion put ink on innumerable illustrations showing as...

  8. CHAPTER 2 St. Paul Comes of Age, 1875 – 1920
    (pp. 37-100)

    In 1873, the year after Jay Cooke’s Northern Pacific Railway extended across Minnesota, his financial empire collapsed. A run on eastern banks ensued, bursting the speculative bubble that had simultaneously fueled railroad expansion and swollen western land values. The following economic depression held eastern cities and farmlands in its grip through the remainder of the decade.

    In spite of the woes of its eastern backers, St. Paul’s transformation from prairie town to metropolis continued to move forward. Writing in 1876, J. Fletcher Williams noted that the financial revulsion “was scarcely felt here, beyond a slight stringency of the money market...

  9. CHAPTER 3 From the Picturesque to the Moderne, 1920 – 1940
    (pp. 101-168)

    At the turn of the twentieth century, a common vision haunted the labors of artists and art critics throughout the United States. The “Great American Novel,” the first truly American symphony or opera, a distinctively American kind of ballet, poetry that breathed with an identifiably American spirit—these were all aspects of a broadly shared vision that the American people would at last become leaders rather than followers of European culture.

    In architecture as in the other arts, the precise content of the vision varied considerably from dreamer to dreamer. Many years earlier, while still in his twenties, Cass Gilbert...

  10. CHAPTER 4 Planning the Modern City, 1940 – 1985
    (pp. 169-228)

    Minnesota sent 275,000 sons and daughters off to World War II. In the ranks of the returning veterans marched St. Paul humorist Max Shulman, who recounted a fictional homecoming in his first published novel. In outward appearance Minnesota had changed very little during the war, but Shulman’s hero noted with approval a new, and very determined, sense of order. “War has shown us what we can do,” he said. “While some of us assured our country’s destiny on the battle fields of the world, others stayed home and builded our future. An inventory was taken. The perspective of time revealed...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Melding the Past with the Future, 1985 – 2000
    (pp. 229-242)

    As St. Paul approached the close of the twentieth century, the dynamic between preservation issues and the city’s growing architectural needs became increasingly complex. Architectural Modernism rediscovered its ties to the past, and in the guise sometimes labeled “Post-Modernism” made a point of echoing ornamental devices and even architectural forms of the past. In the meantime, city planners and officials began to look beyond the signature office towers of Capital Centre and its aftermath to multiple-use developments that would pay equal attention to historic buildings and modern needs.

    Preservation activity also widened its focus to embrace new construction within historic...

  12. NOTES
    (pp. 243-266)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 267-278)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 279-279)