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St. Paul’s Architecture

A History

2008
Authors:

Jeffrey A. Hess and Paul Clifford Larson

St. Paul’s Architecture

The first architectural history of beautiful St. Paul, Minnesota

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.

Few cities in the Midwest, or elsewhere for that matter, can match the rich architectural history of St. Paul, and it can all be found in this splendid new book. Jeffrey Hess and Paul Clifford Larson have given us an opportunity to appreciate this history anew through carefully chosen images and a compelling text. It's a book I highly recommend.

Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

From the grand boulevard of Summit Avenue to the gleaming State Capitol, from the warehouses of University Avenue to the postwar neighborhoods in Highland Park, St. Paul, Minnesota, is a city blessed with an extraordinary architectural heritage.

In St. Paul’s Architecture, Jeffrey A. Hess and Paul Clifford Larson portray the city’s distinct history and character through the evolution of its built environment. Starting with the buildings that defined St. Paul’s founding in the 1840s, through the great construction boom of the mid-1880s, to the stylish and artistic work of period-revival architects in the 1920s and 1930s and the rise of modernism after World War II, the authors showcase the city’s rich architectural heritage. Concluding the exploration, the book’s final chapter sheds light on the architecture of present-day St. Paul.

St. Paul’s Architecture presents more than 225 notable surviving buildings and the history of several neighborhoods of the city. With many 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.

Published in cooperation with the City of St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission.

St. Paul’s Architecture

Jeffrey A. Hess is a cultural historian who writes about the evolution of the American landscape. He recently retired from the historical consulting firm of Hess, Roise and Company.

Paul Clifford Larson is a public historian and historic building consultant. He is the author of Minnesota Architect: The Life and Work of Clarence H. Johnston, Icy Pleasures: Minnesota Celebrates Winter, and A Place at the Lake.

St. Paul’s Architecture

Few cities in the Midwest, or elsewhere for that matter, can match the rich architectural history of St. Paul, and it can all be found in this splendid new book. Jeffrey Hess and Paul Clifford Larson have given us an opportunity to appreciate this history anew through carefully chosen images and a compelling text. It's a book I highly recommend.

Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

St. Paul's Architecture not only chronicles the high-style and high-profile buildings in the city, but also documents the rise of St. Paul's late nineteenth-century urban core, its early twentieth-century residential areas, and its late twentieth-century revival. The book offers a fascinating look at the evolution of the architectural profession as well, with insights into the social, political, and artistic role it plays in the life of a city.

Thomas Fisher, Dean, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota

St. Paul's Architecture offers the most thorough account to date of St. Paul's architectural legacy and makes a valuable contribution to the historic record of the city.

Larry Millett, author of Lost Twin Cities and Twin Cities Then and Now.

A thoroughly informative and enjoyable read, St. Paul’s Architecture is a must for those who view architecture as a reflection of societal disposition. Even more, the work should be on the shelf of any who call St. Paul home.

Minnesota History

The scope of the book is vast. Readers with more than a passing interest in architecture should find the book fascinating.

The Villager

A book you’ll want to own if you have even the slightest degree of interest in St. Paul’s architectural heritage. Not only is the book nicely done, it’s also the first to attempt a thorough history of St. Paul’s architecture, presented in the form of a cohesive narrative. Both authors are graceful writers with an eye for telling details, and no matter how much you think you know about St. Paul, you’ll learn things from this book.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

An oversized book chock full of photos and architectural plans of many of St. Paul’s great buildings.

Dave Wood’s Book Report

Presenting more than 225 notable surviving buildings and the history of several diverse city neighborhoods, St. Paul’s Architecture is profusely illustrated with period photography and illustrations, making it a seminal reference for architectural students; admirers of St. Paul’s special beauty, charm and history; and a seminal addition to any professional or academic library’s Architectural Studies reference collection.

Midwest Book Review

The architectural heritage of Minnesota's capital city has finally received a serious examination in this impressive volume. St. Paul's Architecture is a thoroughly researched book that is far more than a history of buildings. It is an entertaining and enlightening study of a prominent city in America's heartland, and its place in the world.

Ramsey County History

An insightful narrative and historical photographs and maps telling the rest of the story.

Mpls/St.Paul Magazine

With compelling narrative and lavish photography, St. Paul’s Architecture persuasively captures all that distinguishes this ‘last city of the East’ from its Western-looking neighbor across the river.

Minneapolis Observer Quarterly

St. Paul’s Architecture

contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. St. Paul’s Founding Years, 1840–1875
2. St. Paul Comes of Age, 1875–1920
3. From the Picturesque to the Moderne, 1920–1940
4. Planning the Modern City, 1940–1985
5. Melding the Past with the Future, 1985–2000

Notes
Index