Cafe on the Bay, Chesapeake City, Maryland - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cafe on the Bay, Chesapeake City, Maryland - Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Cafe on the Bay, Chesapeake City, Maryland - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Saturday, July 21, 2018

St. Paul, MN: Charles Schulz, Cathedral, Mickey's Diner, Quadriga, Capitol, Part 1 - Thurs., July 12, 2018

Warning: This is our favorite day on the trip so far. Be prepared for multiple blogs to cover it. This is Part 1.

As I was getting ready for breakfast, the news and weather forecasters on TV in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area were blathering on about flash flood warnings and the possibility of thunderstorms. 

Upon checking "My Radar" app on my SmartPhone, I did not see any impending significant storms. Susan pooh-poohed the TV weather reports because she was looking at her iPhone which showed hot, humid weather for the morning. Our capital Volksmarch is a go for this morning (but I took my umbrella "just in case"). 

From Eagan, Minnesota, it was a short drive to St. Paul. We found the Super America gas station on Grand Ave. from whence our walk would start. After signing in and picking up the State Capital Walk instructions, we needed to find on-street parking nearby. Within 1-1/2 blocks, we found a shady spot to leave the Escape Pod (my name for my Ford Escape) for a few hours. The car was on our return route, so that worked out splendidly. 

After walking back to the start point, we started our walk on Grand Ave. in the Historic Hill neighborhood. Definitely an older section of St. Paul, the businesses in this area reflect a different era. 
Victoria East's dragon
The building below used to be a Studebaker dealership. Big picture windows used to let potential buyers see the car of their dreams as they drove by. Now, this building houses Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking which, according to Google, has been there for 15 years. (However, by the time I wrote this blog, this business, too, had closed. Its owners say they will reopen in another part of town. Time marches on.)
Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking (now closed)
Maybe a gas/service station originally?
Below is a sweet tribute sculpture to William Francis Skally, an old beat cop in the Rondo neighborhood who would buy winter boots for children who did not have any.

It never ceases to amaze me, what can be learned from walking in a city I've never been to before. Did you know Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoonist, was born in Minneapolis and spent most of his life in St. Paul? His very first cartoon was published in Ripley's Believe it or Not. He was 15 when it was printed. What a great start for the richest cartoonist of all time. 

His last original comic strip was published the day after he died in February 2000. For five years after his death, artists put up sculptures around St. Paul in his honor. The large sculptures that people flocked to see funded permanent bronze sculptures at Landmark Plaza and Rice Park in St. Paul. 

Found this on Grand Ave., others are
scattered throughout St. Paul.
Schroeder and Lucy at Landmark Plaza
Charlie Brown and Snoopy at Landmark Plaza
Sally Brown and Linus Van Pelt at Landmark Plaza
The back view of Linus and Sally 
Besides the art deco buildings and Charles Schulz "shultziana" (as one writer referred to the nostalgic pieces), Susan and I loved the architecturally beautiful old apartments and homes in the Historic and Capitol Hill neighborhoods we entered next. Here we go...

Apartment building
Tudor style home
Photo below: Rowhouse where F. Scott Fitzgerald lived with his parents while writing This Side of Paradise.

F. Scott Fitzgerald House, 599 Summit Ave., St. Paul

Our favorite Victorian home.
Love the rock around the windows
and along the edges of the home.

On Summit Ave., after we followed the turn in the road to the left, we came upon Summit Outlook Park. This was originally the site of Carpenter's Hotel. The 1850's Victorian building was a towering wooden structure. It had three stories above ground and a two-story basement with windows cut into the stone retaining wall along Ramsey Hill. It is believed the hotel was destroyed by fire. By the mid-1880s, it had been demolished. Since 1887, the property has been a public park.
View of the Mississippi River Valley from the park.
No view of the river, only a tennis court and trees.
[As an aside, we never did see the Mississippi River when we were in St. Paul. That will be reserved for another trip.]

The history of the New York Life Eagle sculpture in Summit Outlook Park (taken from the historical marker in the park): 

In 1890, the commission for the New York Life Eagle sculpture was given to Augustus Saint-Guadens on behalf of the New York Life insurance Company. Augustus sketched the conceptual form and the sculpture was carved in marble by his brother Louis St. Gaudens which was to be cast in an edition of three for New York Life's frontier expansion buildings in Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Paul. 

In the heart of downtown St. Paul, the New York Life building's three-story main entrance was topped by this powerful allegory of protection. The majestic bird is poised on a rock ledge, wings spread to shelter its eaglets, its talons grasping a threatening serpent. 

In 1967, preservationists saved the sculpture when the building was demolished and installed it outside the Pioneer Building parking lot. Public Art Saint Paul secured the title to the sculpture in 1999 and restored it. In June 2004, the sculpture was raised to this perch overlooking the Mississippi River Valley where bald eagles abound along the bluffs and palisades.
New York Life Eagle sculpture
New York Life Eagle sculpture

James J. Hill's Summit Avenue home
(now a museum)
James J. Hill's Summit Avenue home
(now a museum)
Railroad & shipping magnate & related
businesses -- one of the wealthiest and
most powerful men of America's gilded age
 Across the street from James Hill's estate sits the Cathedral of St. Paul. The cathedral is like a beautiful woman: from her perch high atop Cathedral Hill she dominates the view, you can't stop looking at her, and you want to see her from every angle. (Well, maybe you don't, but I did.)

Cathedral of St. Paul as seen from James Hill Estate
Entrance to Cathedral of St. Paul
Cathedral of St. Paul as seen from The Quadriga
on the Capitol building (zoomed in).
Cathedral of St. Paul from the bottom of the hill.
Cathedral of St. Paul
The side of Cathedral of St. Paul
From the James Hill estate, we walked a few feet down Summit Avenue and then turned right down some stairs on our way to the historic marker for the Selby Streetcar Tunnel.

(To be continued in Part 2.)


  1. Wow, and the info on James Hill was fascinating. Enjoyed the Charles Schulz bronzes as well. What a trip.........

    1. We were pretty enthralled by the James Hill/Sam Hill connection. It was a good trip, for sure.


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