Lowertown Resources & Links

RCHS is leading a project that will develop a community-based plan to create interpretive, information sites in Lowertown.

Lowertown Interpretive Plan

RCHS recently received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to be the lead in conducting a Lowertown Interpretive Plan project. The project developed a community-based plan to create interpretive, information sites in Lowertown, St. Paul, to share the unique history of the Lowertown Historic District with residents and visitors.

RCHS will work in collaboration with a Technical Advisory Group comprised of over 20 community organizations, including but not limited to: Saint Paul Union Depot, Saint Paul Saints, Capital River Council, and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. More importantly, the project included the participation of local residents, businesses, artists, and nonprofits in three focus groups, and developed a community-inspired and consensus-based interpretive plan for the Lowertown Historic District. In addition, two modified prototypes will be installed in a public Lowertown space for greater community testing over the following year.

Responding to the Greater Lowertown Master Plan developed in 2010, and paying tribute to the decades-long revitalization work by community members, the plan will lay the foundation for future historic interpretation projects. The plan will be published and widely distributed, and will also be available online. During the next ten years, this interpretive plan will guide the implementation of interpretation projects in Lowertown, Saint Paul.
PDF of the Lowertown Interpretive Plan Final Report, December 2017

Links

These websites may have resources that will be helpful to planners, artists, community members, organizers and others who are interested in Lowertown and the Lowertown Interpretive Plan. These are just some suggestions of the people and organizations that you may want to work with on your Lowertown project in addition to RCHS.
Page links do not constitute endorsement of the organization listed nor its content.

Artspace
AZ Gallery
Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
City of Saint Paul
East Side Freedom Library
Lowertown Facebook Group
Lowertown First Fridays
Lowertown Landing
Mears Park
Minnesota Historical Society
Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office
Nautilus Music Theatre
Public Art Saint Paul
Saint Paul City Artist Program
Ramsey County
Saint Paul Art Collective/Saint Paul Art Crawl
Saint Paul Farmers Market
Saint Paul Foundation
Saint Paul Historic Preservation Commission
Saint Paul Lowertown.com
Saint Paul Saints
The Show Gallery Lowertown
Springboard for the Arts
Union Depot
Visit Saint Paul – Lowertown

For more information on the Lowertown Interpretive Plan, or on any of our projects or initiatives, please contact us.

Resources

Planning documents, studies, maps and other resources.
Information is being prepared for accessibility. Please watch this space.
Page links and PDF’s do not constitute RCHS endorsement of the organization or publication listed nor its content.

African American Heritage: Points of Entry (walking tour)
Website link
Walking tour with African American history and points of interest.
2008. Culture Brokers Foundation Inc., Historic Saint Paul.

Art Crawl Building Guide
Website link
Lowertown Landing’s audio and text guide to 9 buildings, plus an intro.

Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy
Website link
Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy_2011 PDF
Chapter 4 of the Lowertown Master Plan, analysis, goals and objectives on the creative economy in Lowertown and recommendations on fostering growth.
2011. Author: The Cunningham Group.

Brief histories of specific buildings and places in Lowertown
Website link – building histories
Website link – historic places
Lowertown Landing has short histories and building descriptions.

The Buildings of St. Paul: The Mears Park Area
Website link
The Mears Park Area PDF
A history of the buildings around Mears Park from about 1875-1925.
1992. Author: Andrew G. Earhart.

Central Corridor Development Strategy (chapter of the St. Paul Comprehensive Plan)
Website link
The Central Corridor Development Strategy addresses the related land use, economic, and social development impacts that may result from Light Rail Transit.
2007.

Dayton’s Bluff: Below the Bluff (walking tour & video)
Website link
A tour of the area below Dayton’s Bluff, with history and geography. Video and text.
Author: Script by Steve Trimble, edited by Tony Andrea. Video produced and edited by East End Productions. Historic Saint Paul.

Downtown St. Paul Station Area Plan
Downtown St. Paul Station Area Plan_Part 1_2010 PDF
Downtown St. Paul Station Area Plan_Part 3_2010 PDF
Downtown St. Paul Station Area Plan_Part 4_2010 PDF
Link to website
Plan looks at Light Rail Transit and other transit opportunities in Downtown Saint Paul.

East Side Park and Trail Map
Website link
East Side Park and Trail Map_xxxx PDF
Author: Lower Phalen Creek Project and Hedberg Maps, Inc.

Environmental Assessment Worksheet for Trunk Highway 52/Lafayette Bridge Replacement and Roadway Modification Project from Plato Boulevard to East 8th Street
Website link
Environmental Assessment Worksheet for Trunk Highway 52_2009 PDF
Analysis, assessments and maps.
2009. Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Great River Passage Master Plan (Addendum to St. Paul Comprehensive Plan)
Website Link
Great River Passage Master Plan_2012 PDF
A master plan for 17 miles of parkland along the Mississippi River with analysis and recommendations. Note: This is a large pdf, it may take some time to download.
2012. Author: Various task forces, committees and consultants. Complete list on pg. 4 of the PDF.

Greater Lowertown Master Plan
Link to stpaul.gov neighborhood plans, scroll down
GreaterLowertownMasterPlanPDF
A major study of Lowertown. The stated purpose of this plan is to: “lay out the community’s vision for its future.” The plan includes arts and culture, historic preservation, land use and environmental issues, development, parks and housing, transportation and implementation.
2012. Authors: Greater Lowertown Master Plan Task Force; Task Force Advisors; and Consultant Team

Historic Lowertown (walking tour)
Website link
Another version of the Lowertown walking tour, curated by Historic Saint Paul from the Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission, and the City of Saint Paul walking tour.
1988. The Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission, and the City of Saint Paul, Historic Saint Paul.

Historic Property Record for Lafayette Bridge
Historic Property Record for Lafayette Bridge_c.2009 PDF
Survey and description of the bridge.
2009. Author: Robert M. Frame, Christine Long, and Shannon Malzahn (Mead & Hunt)

Historic Property Record for Lafayette Bridge – Photographs
Historic Property Record for Lafayette Bridge Photographs_c.2009 PDF
Addition to the historic property record for the bridge.
2009.

Historic Sites Survey of St. Paul and Ramsey County
Website Link
1983 Survey – Complete PDF. See website for section PDFs.
Survey of historic sites and homes in Saint Paul and Ramsey County by district.
2003. Author: Patricia A. Murphy and Susan W. Granger. Sponsored by: Ramsey County Historical Society & Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission.

Histories of 22 Lowertown Buildings
Website link
Saint Paul Historical has gathered histories of Lowertown buildings from a number of sources.
Author: Various, curated by Saint Paul Historical.

The History and Significance of the James J. Hill Building
The History and Significance of the James J. Hill Building_1987 PDF
Research paper.
1987. Harry Hunter. State Historic Preservation Office.

Inventory Form for the Union Depot Elevated Rail Yards
Inventory Form for the Union Depot Elevated Rail Yards_2007 PDF
Part of the Union Depot Phase I/II Project. Survey and history with descriptions of the area.
2007. Author: Jeanne-Marie Mark, The 106 Group.

Kellogg Boulevard Streetscape Project
Kellogg Boulevard Streetscape Project_1999 PDF
Evaluation of the site for the National Historic Registry, with description and significance.
1999. Author: Andrew J. Schmidt and Kristen M. Zschomler, The 106 Group

Lowertown : A Report of the Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation, Saint Paul
Lowertown_A Report of the Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation_1985 PDF
An analysis of some of the buildings and areas of potential economic development in Lowertown.
1984. Author: Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation. Copy from the Wilson Library, University of Minnesota.

Lowertown Heritage Preservation District Design Guidelines
Website link
Lowertown Heritage Preservation District Design Guidelines_xxxx PDF
Study paper recommending architectural standards for the Lowertown Preservation District.
Author: Lance M. Neckar, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota. University of Minnesota’s Digital Conservancy

Lowertown National Register Historic District Boundary Increase Nomination Form
Lowertown National Register Historic District Boundary Increase_1989 PDF
1989. Author: Rolf T. Andersen. State Historic Preservation Office.

Lowertown Pedestrian and Alley Studies
Archive Lowertown Alley Study Cover PDF
Lowertown Pedestrian Study II PDF
Study of the alleys and pedestrian walkways in Lowertown, with recommendations.
1984. Rafferty, Rafferty, Mikutowski, Roney & & Associates, Inc. Architects

Lowertown Redevelopment Opportunity: A Proposal Prepared for the McKnight Foundation
PDF not available. See the Minnesota Historical Society Library.
1978. Author: City of Saint Paul, Office of the Mayor.

Lowertown River Garden
Lowertown River Garden_1994 PDF
Concept paper.
1994. Author: City of St. Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development and Department of Public Works; Consultants Rafferty Rafferty Tollefson Architects, Inc. and Edwards and Kelcey, Inc.

Lowertown: The Rise of an Urban Village (video)
Video link
Documentary on the re-development of Lowertown.
2011. Twin Cities Public Television.

Lowertown Walking Tour
Website link
Lowertown Landing’s audio and text walking tour. 9 buildings and an overview.

Lowertown: Welcome to Lowertown, St. Paul’s Exciting New Urban Village: Special Report
WelcometoLowertown PDF
An overview of Lowertown, with history and development.
Various dates, 1993-2001. Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation.

Map of Lowertown Heritage Preservation District
Website link
Map of Lowertown Heritage Preservation District PDF
Map.
2015. Author: City of St. Paul and the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission

Mears Park: Evaluation and Enhancement Study
PDF not available. See the Minnesota Historical Society Library.
1988. Author: Project for Public Spaces, Inc.

Metro Greenprint: Planning for Nature in the Face of Urban Growth
Website link
Metro Greenprint_1997 PDF
Analysis of the metro area’s green spaces, with recommendations. Studies of specific sites.
1997. Author: State of Minnesota, Dept. of Natural Resources and others.

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota: Final Comprehensive Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement, Vol. 1
Website link
Google books. Environmental management plan and impact analysis and statement.
1994. Author: Mississippi River Coordinating Commission and National Park Service.

Mississippi River Corridor Plan (chapter of the Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan)
Website link
Mississippi River Corridor Plan_2002
This plan focuses on the resources, communities, human activity and the environment along the Mississippi River Corridor, in order to guide use and development.
2002. Author: City of St. Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development.

National Register Evaluation for the United States Postal Office
National Register Evaluation for the United States Postal Office_2007 PDF
History, architectural description and recommendations.
2007. Author: Camilla Dieber, Earth Tech/Louis Berger Group Joint Venture

National Register Nomination Form for Lowertown Historic District
Website link
National Register Nomination Lowertown Historic District _1983 PDF
1983. Author: Historic Sites Survey of St. Paul and Ramsey County

National Register Nomination Form for the James J. Hill Building
National Register Nomination for the James J. Hill Building_1987 PDF
1987. Author: Harry Hunter. Minnesota State Preservation Office.

National Register Nomination Form for the McColl Building
National Register Nomination Form for the McColl Building_1974 PDF
1974. Author: Lynne VanBrocklin and Thomas J. Lutz. Minnesota State Preservation Office.

National Register Nomination Form for the Walsh Building
National Register Nomination Form for the Walsh Building_1988 PDF
1988. Author: Paul Clifford Larson. Minnesota State Preservation Office.

National Register Registration Form for the United States Postal Office
National Register Registration Form for the United States Postal Office_2013 PDF
2013. Author: Emily Ramsey, MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC

Partnership in Lowertown
Partnership in Lowertown_1981 PDF
Study and progress report on partnership and redevelopment efforts in Lowertown.
1981. Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation. Wilson Library, University of Minnesota.

Phase I and II Architectural History Survey for the Union Depot Multi-Modal Transit Hub Project
Phase I and II Architectural History Survey for the Union Depot Multi-Modal Transit Hub Project_2007 PDF
Survey, historic significance, property investigations, and recommendations.
2007. Author: William E. Stark and Jeanne-Marie Mark, The 106 Group.

Proposed Lowertown District Expansion
Proposed Lowertown District Expansion_c.1989 PDF
Map and buildings descriptions for proposed expansion.
1989. State Historic Preservation Office.

Prosper: Vision SP 20 I 20
Prosper Vision SP2020_2014 PDF
Website link
An analysis of downtown development, focuses on specific buildings, and economic development. Includes Custom House and the Lowertown Ballpark.
2014. Author: BWBR.

Public/Private Partnership: Building an Urban Village
Public_Private Partnership_1994 PDF
Transcript of a speech before the Minnesota Club Forum by Weiming Lu.
1994. Author: Weiming Lu, Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation

Report of the Diamond Products Task Force
Website link
Report of the Diamond Products Task Force_2005 PDF
Examines potential development opportunities for the Diamond Products warehouse site, completed prior to the development of the Saints Ballpark and the Light Rail Maintenance Station. Neighborhood studies, community impacts and development recommendations.
2005. Diamond Products Task Force.

River of History: A Historic Resources Study of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
Website link
See website link for PDFs.
2003. Author: John O. Anfinson, National Park Service, with contributions by Thomas Madigan, Drew M. Forsberg, and Patrick Nunnally. Printed by St.Paul District, Corps of Engineers.

Saint Paul River Balcony Master Plan (amendment to Great River Passage Master Plan)
Website link
St. Paul River Balcony Master Plan_2017 PDF
Adopted by the City Council in April 2013 as an addendum to the Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan. The City’s most recent study and plan to develop a connection between the City and the Mississippi River by creating the River Balcony.  Guiding principles for all public and private development in the Great River Passage, with discussion and analysis, comparisons and designs.
2017.

Shepard-Warner-East CBD Bypass, St.Paul: Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(Historic Resources Survey, Appendix D)
Website link
Google books

Significance Survey for the United States Postal Office
Significance Survey for the United States Postal Office_1985 PDF
Form, description, historic significance study, and photos.
1985. Author: Dr. Norene A. Roberts

Site Nomination Form for the McColl Building
Site Nomination Form for the McColl Building_1978 PDF
1978. Author: Carol Ekstrum and David Wieberg, St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission. Minnesota State Preservation Office.

A Special Report: Lowertown, St. Paul’s Exciting New Urban Village
A Special Report_Lowertown St. Paul’s Exciting New Urban Village_1991 PDF
An overview of Lowertown, its status in 1991 and a vision for its future.
1991. Author: Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation

St. Paul Downtown Development Strategy (Chapter of the St. Paul Comprehensive Plan)
Website link
St.PaulDowntownDevelopmentStrategy_2003(2005) PDF
10-year policy plan, descriptions and recommendations.
2003, updated 20015. Authors: Downtown Development Strategy Task Force; City of St. Paul; Capitol River Council; and St. Paul Planning Commission .

St. Paul on the Mississippi Development Framework
Website link
St. Paul on the Mississippi Development Framework_1997 PDF
A plan to connect Saint Paul to the Mississippi River. Includes visions, strengths and issues, connectivity, environment, neighborhoods, safety, transport, uses and more.
1997. Authors: Berridge Lewinberg Greenberg; Dark Gable Limited; Applied Ecological Services Inc.; Close Landscape Architecture; Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin Lopez Rinehart.

St. Paul’s Historic Lowertown: A Walking Tour
Website link – Lowertown Landing
Lowertown Historic Walking Tour PDF
A historic tour of Lowertown, brochure includes histories of many of the buildings.
1988. Author: St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission and the City of St. Paul.

The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation: Building a Livable Creative Urban Village
Website link to purchase book from Amazon.com
Hard cover book, 207 pages. Summary available on Amazon page.
2013. Author: Weiming Lu (Author), U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (Foreword)

Transportation, Urban Design and the Environment: Highway 61/Red Rock Corridor
Transportation, Urban Design, and the Environment_2003 PDF
Report #13 in the series Transportation and Regional Growth Study. Research paper to aid in understanding the relationship between transportation and land use.
2003. Author: Lance M. Neckar, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota.

Uniquely St. Paul: A Self-Guided Walking Tour through a 21st River City
Website link
StPaulWalkTour11x33 PDF
Large map of downtown Saint Paul with historic information.
2008. Author: Rotary Club of St. Paul and the City of St. Paul

For more information on the Lowertown Interpretive Plan, or on any of our projects or initiatives, please contact RCHS.