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Paradise Island
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've never seen a St Paul thread here so I thought it was time to change that. This city tends to live in the shadow of it's larger twin Minneapolis which is a shame because it is a nice place in it's own right. It is the capital of Minnesota and the last big river port on the Mississippi. It became a city before Minneapolis but was eclipsed by Minneapolis at the beginning of the 20th century. It has slumbered in a quiet stagnant prosperity ever since. Where Minneapolis tends to be more vibrant and hip, St Paul is more elegant, rooted and traditional. In some ways it is a really big small town.

I plan on taking mostly St Paul photos for the next couple of months but I will start with some I took in April. Like in my Minneapolis photoblog I will do 4 photos per post so the thread doesn't become too overloaded for those with slower internet connections.

These are from downtown, while St Paul in general is a prosperous place the downtown has a bit of a rustbelt feel due to the real business center of the region being in downtown Minneapolis for the last 100 years:







 

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Paradise Island
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
This is Cathedral Hill as seen from the edge of downtown. The cathedral is the second largest in North America. Next to it is the James J Hill mansion. James J Hill was the robber barron who built the Northern Pacific Railway which connected the upper Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean via the ports of St Paul and Seattle. It was the spark that led both the Twin Cities and Seattle to become major metros. The Northern Pacific also led to the settlement of the northern tier of the western US.

Both the cathedral and the James J Hill mansion can be seen in this photo:





When you get to the top of the stairs you are on Summit Avenue which is a 4 mile stretch of mansions that runs from the cathedral west to the Mississippi:

 

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Paradise Island
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Old indian burial mounds overlook the Mississippi on bluffs to the east of downtown. The mounds are the oldest man made structures in the Twin Cities:







Mounds Park has a good view of the St Paul skyline with Minneapolis in the background:

 

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Paradise Island
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Downtown is built in a natural bowl. The hills surrounding it were good sites for impressive structures like the twin domes of the state capitol and cathedral:



The West 7th neighborhood on the lowlands just west of downtown was first built up in the era before statehood, most of that is gone but there are some nice victorian buildings:





This is the home of Alexander Ramsey who was the first governor of Minnesota:

 

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Paradise Island
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now for some photos I took last week. These are from the Crocus Hill neighborhood which is just west of Cathedral Hill.

A mansion on Summit Avenue:



Off of Summit Avenue are some smaller houses that are still nice:



This is an old church that is now a theater:



 

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Paradise Island
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The port of St Paul goes from the downtown downriver for a few miles. It is mainly railyards and buildings for taking things off of trains and putting them on boats. The port and the rail lines are the main reason why St Paul is a city. The reason why the Twin Cities are two cities is because the Falls of St Anthony in Minneapolis were the best place in the upper Midwest for water driven milling but they made it impossible to have a port in Minneapolis; Minneapolis was the manufactuing center while St Paul was the port. At first St Paul's port made it the primary center but eventually the industry that grew up around the mills at the falls created large corporations like Pillsbury and General Mills which allowed Minneapolis to become the primary city in the region.

St Paul has been the Canadian Prairies back door to the world since it was first settled, most of the trains seem to be from Canada and CP Rail (Canadian Pacific) owns most of the north-south rail lines in Minnesota between the border and the Twin Cities. It is hard to get good photos of the river port because there are few sidewalks in the area and it is strung out in relatively low density for a very long distance.

Here is one from downtown - the bluff point in this photo is where the indian burial mounds are:





Here is a photo of Fort Snelling. This photo was taken from St Paul but the fort is not in either of the cities proper. It was built in 1821 atop bluffs at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers and is the oldest American built building in the region. It was built to establish US soverignty over the northern plains:



That is all I have for now but I will be taking some more photos tomorrow.
 
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