Throwback Thursday – Power plant edition

Built in the 1920s and was obsolete before it was ever used. At one point it was going to be turned into condos but there were all sorts of issues . . . like the river that made the land hard to develop. The plant was demolished in 2014.

The land is now the home of River View upper landing apartments.  Change seems to happen at a snail’s pace but it happens.

power plant on Mississippi River
Power Plant built in 1923

I watched it being demolished. I am sure I have pictures of that somewhere . . . but where?


Throwback Thursday – Pedro Park

Dots being painted on the wall
Pedro Park Painting 2014

The old St. Paul Public Safety Annex building on 10th Street in downtown St. Paul on 10th street is being demolished. Eventually, there will be a new park on the site. I think.

There was a small park on the old Pedro luggage site. There were flowers, chairs, and a mural. I still have a bag or two that I bought from Pedro Luggage.  The site was donated to the city for a park. The safety annex building is next-door and has been vacant for many years and the lot it sat on will be part of the park.

The Pedro Park saga is long and complicated but it is photogenic and because it is right across the street from the Lunds downtown I always seem to be in the right place at the right time to take pictures.

Demolition of the safety annex building
Demolition of the safety annex building

Minneapolis St. Paul isn’t a place

There is no such place as Minneapolis St. Paul. There is the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. There is a Minneapolis Minnesota and a St. Paul Minnesota and there is a Twin Cities.

I can immediately tell when people are not familiar with the Twin Cities or if they are journalists because they call St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minneapolis – St. Paul, or even St. Paul – Minneapolis.

Also, I get a kick out of how when I write St. Paul it is sometimes rejected as part of an address, and sometimes “Saint Paul” is rejected. “St. Paul” seems to work online more often than “Saint Paul” but you just never know.

That reminds me there is no “East St. Paul” but there is an “East Side”.  It isn’t a huge deal but we can tell the natives from the non-natives because there is no “East St. Paul”. South St. Paul, North St. Paul, and West St. Paul are outside the city limits of St. Paul and each is a city with its own city government and mayor.

St. Paul has a “West End” and a “West Side”. Two different neighborhoods on opposite sides of the river.

The Twin Cities are not really twins. Minneapolis has a nightlife and they even have public fireworks displays on July 4th. St. Paul is where people go to get a good night’s sleep except on July 4th when everyone has their own fireworks display.

Minneapolis has more bike lanes and paths too but to be fair Minneapolis is not nearly as hilly as St. Paul, which is why the real athletes bike in St.Paul.

St. Paul is the last great city of the East and Minneapolis is the first great city of the West. The cities are not in the same county but both are in Minnesota.

Minneapolis is larger than St. Paul but St. Paul is the state capitol.

Minnesota state capitol building
MN State Capitol



Spring flowers are on the way

It finally feels like spring. The trees should start blooming soon. Tulips are starting to bloom and the hostas are poking up through the soil and so are columbine plants.

Wild columbine
Wild Columbine

Columbine, it is beautiful and plants itself in places where there it is shady with some sun.  Columbine is a woodland plant native to North America and Canada and is a perennial.  Here in the Metro area, these will bloom in late May and early June.


The Mighty Mississippi River

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. For the last couple of years, the water level in the Mississippi River has been low. Parts of the river south of Minnesota were almost dry due to drought.

The river supplies drinking water and it is a major shipping channel. When the river gets low barges can not get through.

This spring we are seeing major flooding along the river due to snow melt. We had the third snowiest winter on record and in some parts of Northern Minnesota the snowiest winter on record.

There used to be housing closer to the river in St. Paul but due to frequent floods the housing has been removed and the land is now public parks. It isn’t unusual for some of those parks to remain closed or partially closed until July due to spring flooding.

Shepard Road near downtown St. Paul is partially underwater and closed. The river should crest this weekend and then start to recede.

Here are some pictures taken during my daily walks.

Picture of river April 15th
April 15, 2023
april 26th Mississippi river
April 26, 2023, Mississippi River – above 14 feet is considered major flood stage
upper landing park April 26
Upper Landing Park April 26, 2023

The current is powerful. One of the best places to view the flood is from the Science Museum’s outdoor balcony, the Wabasha street bridge, the Robert Street Bridge, or the Smith avenue high bridge.

Treasures in old houses

Over the years I have had the opportunity to get inside many houses and I find treasures like original woodwork, hardware, stained glass windows, and antique light fixtures. I kind of nerd out over them because I grew up in a historic house and I own one today.

Here is a light fixture I found in an arts and crafts style house built in the 1920s and located in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood.  There were several vintage light fixtures and light switches.

Brass light fixture
Light fixture from the 1920s

I have a collection of photographs I have taken over the years of ancient heating plants, a cistern or two, a washing machine-type device from the early 1900s, and lots of stained glass windows and antique light fixtures.

I guess it is an electronic museum of sorts. I can’t resist taking pictures of ancient heating plants. Just when I think I have seen them all I see something I have never seen before.