Taylors Falls is so close

If you are looking for a place to go that is close to the Twin cities consider visiting Taylors Falls. We went there a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed walking through pothole park (Interstate Park) and we on the paddle boat ride on the St. Croix River.

Taylors Falls is especially beautiful in the fall and is one of my favorite place to go and take pictures of fall colors . . . not that we need to think about fall in the middle of summer.

St. Croix river
St. Croix river

Minnesota is a beautiful state.

Throwback Thursday – 208 Bates

The first picture was taken in 2016 when the City of St. Paul owned the property. They didn’t own it as an investment but bought it to keep it from being raised.  The second picture was taken last week and shows how the 1850’s building looks after undergoing renovations with the help of a $600,000 public subsidy with some strings attached that the units must be used as affordable rentals for the next 15 years.

Renovations were done by private owners in a partnership with Historic St. Paul preservation group. The building was open last spring for the home tour.


historic apartments
208 – 210 Bates
208 bates renovated
208 Bates Ave

Rice Park is open again

Rice Park in downtown St. Paul was closed for a year and a half or so for renovations. The park is the center of many events throughout the year. It just wasn’t the same having Winter Carnival events in Kellogg Plaza Park.

There will be an official grand re-opening on June 11th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM 

The park has a long history, it is 170 years old and St. Paul sprouted up around it. It is seven years older than Central Park in New York City. Before it became a park, Rice Park was used as an open space to dry laundry and graze animals. The land was eventually made into a “public square” in 1849 by John R. Irvine, a territorial pioneer and Henry M. Rice, territorial delegate and United States Senator. In May of 1914, a Woman suffrage rally was held in the park.

The revitalized park doesn’t look all that different, and this isn’t the first time it has been renovated. The landscaping has been changed, and the lighting has been improved. There are fewer trees and more concrete. The fountain is still in place. Statues were moved around but they are all still there.

My memories of Rice Park go way back. During summer vacations we used to ride the bus downtown and go to the Library, which is across the street from Rice Park. We would check out some books and sometimes sit in the park and read them.

Part of what makes the park so special is the Saint Paul Public Library on one side and the Landmark Center on the other.

I looked through my pictures of the park and most of them were taken in winter during the winter carnival. Last week I got some new pictures just before the park was filled with tents and people ready to add to the history of the park.

Go to StPaul.gov for more information about the recent renovations at the park and future events.  – Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Historic Firehouse

Hope Engine Company No. 3 fire station was built in 1872. A couple of years ago it was slated for demolition but the neighborhood was able to save it. The building has been repurposed and will be a wine bar. I have no idea when it is going to open but it is starting to look pretty nice on the outside and the inside looks kind of finished but it is hard to tell looking in from the outside.


firehouse 1

You might also notice in the recent picture there is a new building next to the firehouse. That is actually a Marriott hotel. The firehouse is on South Leech street and to the right in the pictures is Grand Avenue.

I am a fan of recycling, reusing and repurposing our historic buildings and homes. They really don’t build them like that anymore.