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Saint Paul, MN

Saint Paul, situated on the north bank of the Mississippi, is the capital of Minnesota. Together with Minneapolis, it forms the "Twin Cities." Saint Paul is a major business center and includes such large companies as The Travelers Companies, Ecolab and Lawson Software. Though Minneapolis is more nationally recognized, Saint Paul contains important institutions and the state's political activity. Saint Paul has about 280,000 residents, the second highest population in Minnesota.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Saint Paul has 17 distinct and interesting neighborhoods. Some of them are:

  • West Side: Despite its name, this neighborhood is actually in the eastern region of the city. It derives its name from the fact that it's situated on the west bank of the river.
  • Dayton's Bluff: The residential area of this southeast neighborhood is located on a plateau and the area is rather famous for its aboriginal mounds, which overlook the city and the river.
  • Summit-University: This diverse neighborhood is where many of Saint Paul's Asian immigrants settled, including people from Vietnam and Laos. This neighborhood is steeped in history and a number of landmarks is found here.
  • West Seventh: Also known as the Fort Road region or "The West End," this neighborhood was settled mostly by German, Polish, Italian, Irish, Russian and Bohemian immigrants.
  • Saint Anthony Park: This neighborhood is located near the University of Minnesota-Saint Paul. Professionals, students and university faculty live in the area and the neighborhood is known for being pedestrian friendly. In addition, it is home to many independent businesses.
  • Union Park: Largely residential, this affluent area offers its homeowners properties that date back to the early-20th century. Many homes in the area have sweeping views of the Mississippi River.
  • Highland Park: This area is home to the Ford Motor Company Twin Cities Assembly Plant and is known for its many beautiful synagogues and excellent schools, including the famous Cretin-Derham Hall High School.
  • Summit Hill: Also known as "Crocus Hill," this neighborhood is known for its historic mansions. Here visitors can find some of the most-coveted real estate in Saint Paul and some of the most stunning views of the downtown area and the Mississippi River Valley.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Saint Paul is the home to 16 of the Fortune 500 companies and 30 of the Fortune 1000 companies. The principal economic sectors in the city are services, wholesale, retail trade, manufacturing and government. The city is also the center for the high-technology firms. The local market of Saint Paul includes manufacturing of super computers, electronics, medical instruments, milling, machine production, food production and graphic arts.

Some of the city's largest employers are the State of Minnesota, the United States Government, Target Corporation, University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, Allina Health, Northwest Airlines, Fairview Health Services, 3M Corporation and Wells Fargo.

BEST BETS

Saint Paul has many attractions for visitors and plenty to do and see for history buffs. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city are cultural or historical hotspots:

  • The Minnesota Museum of American Art aims to celebrate the variety found in American art. Famous artists of the past and emerging artists are represented.
  • Summit Avenue is a wonderful spot to see the city's many historic mansions. Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Saint Paul, and visitors to the neighborhood can see some of the history of the Fitzgerald family.
  • James J. Hill House is an art gallery on Summit Avenue close to the Saint Paul Cathedral.
  • Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory are located on Estabrook Drive. These attractions are great locations at which to spend an afternoon for very little money.
  • The Wabasha Street Caves are sandstone caves that are famous for being the center for speakeasies during the roaring 1920s.
  • The Landmark Center on West Fifth Street is a historic building and home to many exhibits and galleries.
  • The Prairie Home Companion radio show, which calls the Fitzgerald Theater home, was started by Garrison Keillor.

EVENTS

Although Saint Paul is one of the Twin Cities, the area celebrates events that are solely Saint Paul:

  • Flint Hills International Children's Festival: This performing-arts celebration is designed specifically for children. Held at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts at the end of May, this six-day event shares a multitude of performing-arts experiences with area youngsters, challenging them to test their imaginations.
  • Grand Old Day: Saint Paul's Grand Old Day is a celebration of summer. This event occurs on the first Sunday of June along Grand Avenue and has been recognized as the "largest, one-day festival in the Midwest."
  • Irish Festival: Since 2001, visitors and area residents have all been able to be a little bit Irish in August. This family-friendly event celebrates Irish heritage with music, activities and food.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

In addition to their Minnesota sports team, the citizens of Saint Paul have some teams of their own:

  • Minnesota Wild: This ice-hockey team is a member of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Wild's home turf is the Xcel Energy Center in Downtown Saint Paul.
  • Minnesota Swarm: This team is a member of the National Lacrosse League. It also plays out of the Xcel Energy Center.
  • Saint Paul Saints: This team is the city's semi-professional, American Association baseball team. It plays out of Midway Stadium in Energy Park.
  • Saint Paul Twin Stars: A member of the National Premier Soccer League, this team plays out of James Griffin Stadium.
  • Minnesota Boat Club: This rowing club is the state's oldest athletic organization. It is based on Raspberry Island in Saint Paul.

EDUCATION

Saint Paul is home to many well-respected schools:

  • Saint Paul College: This technical college located in Saint Paul's Cathedral Hill has been in session since 1910. This college is among the top-50, fastest-growing, public, two-year colleges in the nation and has been recognized for its quality programs.
  • Macalester College: This liberal-arts college enrolls an estimated 1,900 students each year and offers classes in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and fine arts.
  • Concordia University: The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod owns and operates this Christian, liberal-arts university, which is located in the midway district of the city. The student-teacher ratio at this school is 12:1.
  • Hamline University:U.S. News and World Report ranked this university the first in its class in the state. Founded in 1854, this school was Minnesota's first university.

LOCAL MEDIA

Saint Paul shares much of its media with Minneapolis, but it does have the daily Saint Paul Pioneer Press. This three-time Pulitzer Prize winner traces its history to the state's first daily newspaper, the Minnesota Pioneer, which was founded in 1849.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The original name of the settlement that became St. Paul was Pig's Eye, named for the French-Canadian whiskey trader Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, who had led squatters to the settlement.
  • Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, creator of one of the most popular comic strips ever, Peanuts, was born in Minneapolis on Nov. 26, 1922, but grew up in St. Paul.
  • The Minnesota Fringe Festival is the largest non-juried performing arts festival in the country.
  • The first Winter Carnival was started by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce in 1886 after a New York writer referred to the city as another Siberia unfit for human habitation.
  • The rivalry between the Twin Cities is well-known. In the 1960s, the cities couldn't agree on Daylight Savings Time. For a few weeks, folks in Minneapolis were one hour "ahead" of St. Paul.
  • St. Paul is the nation's biggest publisher of calendars and law books.
  • The 15th Chief Justice of the United States, Warren E. Burger, was born in St. Paul in 1907. He practiced law here before being named to the Supreme Court in 1969 by President Richard Nixon.
  • Novelist and short-story writer F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul in 1896. The author of "The Great Gatsby" is ranked among the great American writers of the 20th century.
  • Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
  • There are 331 bridges in the city of St. Paul, nine of them crossing the Mississippi. The highest is the Smith Avenue Bridge, crossing the Mississippi at 160 feet.