I am all for adult beverage diversity

I live in the West 7th neighborhood where there is a lot of beer.  There are breweries and microbreweries and taprooms and a place where you can make your own beer and Summit Brewery, and bad weather brewery and a Beirhause too.

It would be interesting to find out how many gallons of beer are produced in the West 7th neighborhood and how many gallons are consumed in the neighborhood. People who are on their way to and from the Xcel center for Minnesota Wild games help drink the beer.

Next year wine is coming into the neighborhood.  The parking was approved and it doesn’t look like there are any anti-wine rules in the way. The wine bar will be in the Hope firehouse at the corner of Leech and Grand Avenue. I’ll be following the progress closely and plan to attend the grand opening if there is one.

hope firehouse
Hope Firehouse 1872

The firehouse was built in 1872 and was almost demolished to make way for a hotel. The neighborhood fought to save the building. If you look to the left in the photo that is where a 109 room extended stay hotel is being built. To the right in the photo is Grand Avenue and Ramsey street in the distance.


Don’t forget to vote today


Your city needs you! Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. If you don’t know where to go to vote, click here 

Pro tip: with ranked choice voting you can vote for more than one candidate but you don’t have to.  Am I going to explain ranked choice voting? No. MINNPOST has an excellent guide.

Did you know that Saint Paul has had 53 mayors and they have all been men?

History might be smaller than you think

The oldest homes in St. Paul are found just West of Downtown in the West 7th neighborhood. They date back to the 1850’s and 40’s which pre-dates Victorian-era architecture.

In the 1850’s St. Paul homes were small and simple, with floors made of fir or maple. The ceilings were high and there weren’t many closets. People did not have as much stuff or as many clothes to cram into closets in those days. Sometimes bedrooms had hooks on the wall and no closet at all. That doesn’t work anymore. (See what is a bedroom?)

The John Lewis house at 412 Goodrich is a great example of a historic home or an old house depending upon your point of view. It was built in 1856 and is one of the oldest houses in St. Paul. It has about 1000 square feet of living space, two bedrooms, one bath and no garage. The most recent sale was in 2015 for about 30K.

1856 house
John Lewis House – 1856

We lost quite a few of these old/historic houses during the great recession and we almost lost this one. It will cost about 45K more than it can be sold for to fix it up.

It often costs more to fix these houses up than they can be sold for which is why they end up being bulldozed, which is a shame. They really do not build them like they used to and they won’t because builders need to build large houses in order to make a profit.

This house didn’t do anything wrong and really doesn’t deserve the death penalty but it is in disrepair and cannot be inhabited.

Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association and Historic Saint Paul are collaborating to preserve and rehabilitate the property. An event to raise money in support of the project will be held on Sunday, November 5, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bad Weather Brewing, located at 414 West 7th St. The event will feature beer specials, a silent auction, raffles and other activities, including information about the Lewis House.

To find out more or make a donation online go to the Historic Saint Paul web site

There is also a Facebook page for the project

To see what the house looks like in color click on the image below.

412 Goodrich

Friday photos

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun and this week Friday is also for photos.

I’ll admit the weather has been so amazing this week it has been hard to stay inside.

The weather is supposed to be amazing today and not so great tomorrow. Sunday weather should be a bit more average for this time of year and we may make it through October without a hard freeze in St. Paul.

fall colors
Indian Mounds park – Thursday October 19, 2017
Fall Color
Fall Color – Mounds Park – Thursday October 19, 2017

Open house at the water tower

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This weekend is the annual water tower open house. From 9 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday (10/14/2017 and 10/15/2017)

The water tower is located on Snelling avenue in between Highland Parkway and Montreal. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb all of those stairs. The climbing isn’t all that much fun but the view makes it worth while. The tower is at the highest point in St. Paul.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to learn more about St. Paul water.

Here is the view from the tower looking west:

view from highland water tower
Minneapolis, as viewed from the Highland Park water tower 

Yes the bridge is really closed

Cars drive down the street and turn around once they get to the closed bridge. When I tell people it is closed they say “no way”, I say WAY! Having the Smith Ave. High bridge closed has really changed the traffic patterns on Smith Avenue and on West 7th. The bridge will be closed until December of 2018 while it is being re-decked. New railings will be put on the bridge to make it harder to jump off of as so many have.

The trails directly under the bridge are also closed. There is road construction on Wabasha at the foot of the Wabasha bridge so don’t bother going that way, The Robert street bridge remains open and there isn’t any construction on either end.

It doesn’t matter where you buy a house of where you open a business,  or work eventually road construction happens.  If you are in Saint Paul, construction projects are often scheduled so that all alternate routes are also closed or partially closed.

I remember when this bridge was built in the mid 1980’s. It replaced the old rickety high bridge. The bridge was completed in 1987 and is 2770 feet long. It cost 20 million to build.

High Bridge
High Bridge September 2017
High bridge – taken from the West looking downtown last year.