Saint Paul, Minnesota facts for kids
|Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|City of Saint Paul|
Clockwise from the top: Downtown Saint Paul as seen from Harriet Island, the Xcel Energy Center, the Saint Paul Cathedral, the Minnesota State Capitol, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, and the historic James J. Hill House
|Nickname(s): "the Capital City", "the Saintly City", "Pig's Eye", "STP", "Last City of the East"|
|Motto: The most livable city in America.1|
Location in Ramsey County and the state of Minnesota
|Incorporated||March 4, 1854|
|Named for||St. Paul the Apostle|
|• City||56.18 sq mi (145.51 km2)|
|• Land||51.98 sq mi (134.63 km2)|
|• Water||4.20 sq mi (10.88 km2)|
|Elevation||702 ft (214 m)|
|• Estimate (2015)||300,851|
|• Rank||City: 64th MN: 2nd|
|• Density||5,726/sq mi (2,210/km2)|
|• Metro||3,524,583 (US: 16th)|
|• Demonym||Saint Paulite|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|1 Current as of July 30, 2008.|
Saint Paul (/ /; abbreviated St. Paul) is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2015, the city's estimated population was 300,851. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.52 million residents.
Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. The Dakota name for Saint Paul is "Imnizaska". Though Minneapolis (Bdeota) is better-known nationally, Saint Paul contains the state government and other important institutions. Regionally, the city is known for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, and for the Science Museum of Minnesota. As a business hub of the Upper Midwest, it is the headquarters of companies such as Ecolab. Saint Paul, along with its Twin City, Minneapolis, is known for its high literacy rate. It was the only city in the United States with a population of 250,000 or more to see an increase in circulation of Sunday newspapers in 2007.
The settlement originally began at present-day Lambert's Landing, but was known as Pig's Eye after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant established a popular tavern there. When Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic pastor of the region, established the Log Chapel of Saint Paul (shortly thereafter to become the first location of the Cathedral of Saint Paul), he made it known that the settlement was now to be called by that name, as "Saint Paul as applied to a town or city was well appropriated, this monosyllable is short, sounds good, it is understood by all Christian denominations".
Burial mounds in present-day Indian Mounds Park suggest that the area was originally inhabited by the Hopewell Native Americans about two thousand years ago. From the early 17th century until 1837, the Mdewakanton Dakota, a tribe of the Sioux, lived near the mounds after fleeing their ancestral home of Mille Lacs Lake from advancing Ojibwe. They called the area I-mni-za ska dan ("little white rock") for its exposed white sandstone cliffs.
Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, a U.S. Army officer named Zebulon Pike negotiated approximately 100,000 acres (40,000 ha; 160 sq mi) of land from the local Dakota tribes in 1805 in order to establish a fort. The negotiated territory was located on both banks of the Mississippi River, starting from Saint Anthony Falls in present-day Minneapolis, to its confluence with the Saint Croix River. Fort Snelling was built on the territory in 1819 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, which formed a natural barrier to both Native American nations. The 1837 Treaty with the Sioux ceded all local tribal land east of the Mississippi to the U.S. Government. Taoyateduta (Chief Little Crow V) moved his band at Kaposia across the river to the south. Fur traders, explorers, and missionaries came to the area for the fort's protection. Many of the settlers were French-Canadians who lived nearby. However, as a whiskey trade flourished, military officers banned settlers from the fort-controlled lands. Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, a retired fur trader-turned-bootlegger who particularly irritated officials, set up his tavern, the Pig's Eye, near present-day Lambert's Landing. By the early 1840s, the community had become important as a trading center and a destination for settlers heading west. Locals called the area Pig's Eye (French: L'Œil du Cochon) or Pig's Eye Landing after Parrant's popular tavern.
In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier was sent to minister to the Catholic French-Canadians and established a chapel, named for his favorite saint, Paul the Apostle, on the bluffs above Lambert's Landing. Galtier intended for the settlement to adopt the name Saint Paul in honor of the new chapel. In 1847, a New York educator named Harriet Bishop moved to the area and opened the city's first school. The Minnesota Territory was formalized in 1849 and Saint Paul named as its capital. In 1857, the territorial legislature voted to move the capital to Saint Peter. However, Joe Rolette, a territorial legislator, stole the physical text of the approved bill and went into hiding, thus preventing the move. On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the union as the thirty-second state, with Saint Paul as the capital.
That year, more than 1,000 steamboats were in service at Saint Paul, making the city a gateway for settlers to the Minnesota frontier or Dakota Territory. Natural geography was a primary reason that the city became a landing. The area was the last accessible point to unload boats coming upriver due to the Mississippi River Valley's stone bluffs. During this period, Saint Paul was called "The Last City of the East." Industrialist James J. Hill constructed and expanded his network of railways into the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway, which were headquartered in Saint Paul. Today they are collectively part of the BNSF Railway.
On August 20, 1904, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes damaged hundreds of downtown buildings, causing USD $1.78 million ($42.07 million present-day) in damages to the city and ripping spans from the High Bridge. In the 1960s, during urban renewal, Saint Paul razed western neighborhoods close to downtown. The city also contended with the creation of the interstate freeway system in a fully built landscape. From 1959 to 1961, the western Rondo neighborhood was demolished by the construction of Interstate 94, which brought attention to racial segregation and unequal housing in northern cities. The annual Rondo Days celebration commemorates the African American community.
Downtown had short skyscraper-building booms beginning in the 1970s. The tallest buildings, such as Galtier Plaza (Jackson and Sibley Towers), The Pointe of Saint Paul condominiums, and the city's tallest building, Wells Fargo Place (formerly Minnesota World Trade Center), were constructed in the late 1980s. In the 1990s and 2000s, the tradition of bringing new immigrant groups to the city continued. As of 2004, nearly 10% of the city's population were recent Hmong immigrants from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Saint Paul is the location of the Hmong Archives.
Saint Paul's history and growth as a landing port are tied to water. The city's defining physical characteristic, the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, was carved into the region during the last ice age, as were the steep river bluffs and dramatic palisades on which the city is built. Receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz forced torrents of water from a glacial river that undercut the river valleys. The city is situated in east-central Minnesota.
The Mississippi River forms a municipal boundary on part of the city's west, southwest, and southeast sides. Minneapolis, the state's largest city, lies to the west. Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Roseville, and Maplewood are north, with Maplewood lying to the east. The cities of West Saint Paul and South Saint Paul are to the south, as are Lilydale, Mendota, and Mendota Heights, although across the river from the city. The city's largest lakes are Pig's Eye Lake, which is part of the Mississippi, Lake Phalen, and Lake Como. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.18 square miles (145.51 km2), of which 51.98 square miles (134.63 km2) is land and 4.20 square miles (10.88 km2) is water.
Saint Paul's Department of Planning and Economic Development divides Saint Paul into seventeen Planning Districts, created in 1979 to allow neighborhoods to participate in governance and utilize Community Development Block Grants. With a funding agreement directly from the city, the councils share a pool of funds. The councils have significant land-use control, a voice in guiding development, and they organize residents. The boundaries are adjusted depending on population changes; as such, they sometimes overlap established neighborhoods. Though these neighborhoods changed overtime, many of their historically significant structures have been saved by preservationists.
The city's seventeen Planning Districts are:
- Sunray-Battle Creek-Highwood
- Greater East Side
- West Side
- Dayton's Bluff
- North End
- Thomas Dale (Frogtown)
- West End
- Como Park
- Saint Anthony Park
- Union Park
- Highland Park
- Summit Hill
- See also: Climate of the Twin Cities and Climate of Minnesota
Saint Paul has a continental climate typical of the Upper Midwestern United States. Winters are frigid and snowy, while summers are hot and humid. On the Köppen climate classification, Saint Paul falls in the hot summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa). The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and fog.
Due to its northerly location in the United States and lack of large bodies of water to moderate the air, Saint Paul is sometimes subjected to cold Arctic air masses, especially during late December, January, and February. The average annual temperature of 47.05 °F (8.36 °C) gives the Minneapolis−Saint Paul metropolitan area the coldest annual mean temperature of any major metropolitan area in the continental U.S.
|Climate data for Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Record high °F (°C)||57
|Average high °F (°C)||26
|Daily mean °F (°C)||16.5
|Average low °F (°C)||7
|Record low °F (°C)||−29
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.79
|Source #1: U.S. climate data|
|Source #2: The Weather Channel|
|U.S. Decennial Census
|Black or African American||15.7%||11.7%||7.4%||3.5%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||9.6%||7.9%||4.2%||2.1%|
The earliest known inhabitants from about 400 A.D. were members of the Hopewell tradition who buried their dead in mounds (now Indian Mounds Park) on the bluffs above the river. The next known inhabitants were the Mdewakanton Dakota in the 17th century who fled their ancestral home of Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota in response to westward expansion of the Ojibwe nation. The Ojibwe would later occupy the north (east) bank of the Mississippi River.
By 1800, French-Canadian explorers came through the region and attracted fur traders to the area. Fort Snelling and nearby Pig's Eye Tavern also brought the first Yankees from New England and English, Irish, and Scottish immigrants who had enlisted in the army and settled nearby after discharge. These early settlers and entrepreneurs built houses on the heights north of the river. The first wave of immigration came with the Irish who settled at Connemara Patch along the Mississippi, named for their home in Connemara Ireland. The Irish would become prolific in politics, city governance, and public safety, much to the chagrin of the Germans and French who had grown into the majority. In 1850, the first of many groups of Swedish immigrants passed through Saint Paul on their way to farming communities in northern and western regions of the territory. A large group settled in Swede Hollow, which would later become home to Poles, Italians, and Mexicans. The last Swedish presence had moved up Saint Paul's East Side along Payne Avenue in the 1950s.
In terms of people who specified European ancestry in the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, the city was 26.4% German, 13.8% Irish, 8.4% Norwegian, 7.0% Swedish, and 6.2% English. There is also a visible community of people of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, representing 4.2% of Saint Paul's population. By the 1980s, the Thomas Dale area, once an Austro-Hungarian enclave known as Frogtown (German: Froschburg), became home to Vietnamese people who left their war-torn country. Soon after a settlement program for the Hmong diaspora came, and by 2000, the Saint Paul Hmong were the largest urban contingent in the United States. Mexican immigrants have settled in Saint Paul's West Side since the 1930s, and have grown enough that Mexico opened a foreign consulate in 2005.
The majority of residents claiming religious affiliation are Christian, split between the Roman Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations. The Roman Catholic presence comes from Irish, German, Scottish, and French Canadian settlers who, in time, would be bolstered by Hispanic immigrants. There are Jewish synagogues such as Mount Zion Temple and relatively small populations of Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. The city has been dubbed "paganistan" due to its large Wiccan population.
As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 66.5% of Saint Paul's population; of which 62.1% were non-Hispanic whites, down from 93.6% in 1970. Blacks or African Americans made up 13.9% of Saint Paul's population; of which 13.5% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.8% of Saint Paul's population; of which 0.6% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 12.3% of Saint Paul's population; of which 12.2% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of Saint Paul's population. Individuals from some other race made up 3.4% of Saint Paul's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.1% of Saint Paul's population; of which 2.6% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 8.7% of Saint Paul's population.
As of the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 287,151 people, 112,109 households, and 60,999 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 67.0% White, 11.7% African American, 1.1% Native American, 12.4% Asian (mostly Hmong), 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.8% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.9% of the population.
As of the census of 2010, there were 285,068 people, 111,001 households, and 59,689 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,484.2 inhabitants per square mile (2,117.5/km2). There were 120,795 housing units at an average density of 2,323.9 per square mile (897.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.1% white, 15.7% African American, 1.1% Native American, 15.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.6% of the population.
There were 111,001 households of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.2% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.33.
The median age in the city was 30.9 years. 25.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.6% were from 25 to 44; 22.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.
In winter months, Saint Paul hosts the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, a tradition that originated in 1886 when a New York reporter called Saint Paul "another Siberia." Attended by 350,000 visitors annually, the event showcases ice sculpting, an annual treasure hunt, winter food, activities, and an ice palace. The Como Zoo and Conservatory and adjoining Japanese Garden are popular year-round. The historic Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul hosts cultural and arts organizations. The city's notable recreation locations include Indian Mounds Park, Battle Creek Regional Park, Harriet Island Regional Park, Highland Park, the Wabasha Street Caves, Lake Como, Lake Phalen, and Rice Park, as well as several areas abutting the Mississippi River. The Irish Fair of Minnesota is also held annually at the Harriet Island Pavilion area. And the country's largest Hmong American sports festival, the Freedom Festival, is held the first weekend of July at McMurray Field near Como Park.
The city is associated with the Minnesota State Fair in nearby Falcon Heights just west of Saint Paul's Como Park neighborhood and southeast of the University of Minnesota Saint Paul Campus. Though Fort Snelling is on the Minneapolis side of the Mississippi River bluff, the area including Fort Snelling State Park and Pike Island is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources headquartered in the city.
Saint Paul is the birthplace of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts), who lived in Merriam Park from infancy until 1960. Schulz's Snoopy cartoon inspired giant, decorated Peanuts sculptures around the city, a Chamber of Commerce promotion in the late 1990s. Other notable residents include writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, playwright August Wilson, who premiered many of the ten plays in his Pittsburgh Cycle at the local Penumbra Theater, painter LeRoy Neiman, and photographer John Vachon.
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts hosts theater productions and the Minnesota Opera is a founding tenant. RiverCentre, attached to Xcel Energy Center, serves as the city's convention center. The city has contributed to the music of Minnesota and the Twin Cities music scene through various venues. Great jazz musicians have passed through the influential Artists' Quarter, first established in the 1970s in Whittier, Minneapolis, and moved to downtown Saint Paul in 1994. Artists' Quarter also hosts the Soapboxing Poetry Slam, home of the 2009 National Poetry Slam Champions. At The Black Dog, in Lowertown, many French or European jazz musicians (Evan Parker, Tony Hymas, Benoît Delbecq, François Corneloup...) have met Twin Cities musicians and started new groups touring in Europe. Groups and performers such as Fantastic Merlins, Dean Magraw/Davu Seru, Merciless Ghosts, and Willie Murphy are regulars. The Turf Club in Midway has been a music scene landmark since the 1940s. Saint Paul is also the home base of the internationally acclaimed Rose Ensemble. As an Irish stronghold, the city boasts popular Irish pubs with live music, such as Shamrocks, The Dubliner, and O'Gara's. The internationally acclaimed Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is the nation's only full-time professional chamber orchestra. The Minnesota Centennial Showboat on the Mississippi River began in 1958 with Minnesota's first centennial celebration.
Saint Paul hosts a number of museums, including the University of Minnesota's Goldstein Museum of Design, the Minnesota Children's Museum, the Schubert Club Museum of Musical Instruments, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Traces Center for History and Culture, the Minnesota History Center, the Alexander Ramsey House, the James J. Hill House, the Minnesota Transportation Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and The Twin City Model Railroad Museum.
Interstate and roadways
Residents utilize Interstate 35E running north-south and Interstate 94 running east-west. Trunk highways include U.S. Highway 52, Minnesota State Highway 280, and Minnesota State Highway 5. Saint Paul has several unique roads such as Ayd Mill Road, Phalen Boulevard and Shepard Road/Warner Road, which diagonally follow particular geographic features in the city. Biking is also gaining popularity, due to both the creation of more paved bike lanes that connect to other bike routes throughout the metropolitan area and the creation of Nice Ride Minnesota, a seasonally operated nonprofit bicycle sharing and rental system that has over 1,550 bicycles and 170 stations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Downtown Saint Paul has a five-mile (8 km) enclosed skyway system over twenty-five city blocks. The 563-mile (906 km) Avenue of the Saints connects Saint Paul with Saint Louis, Missouri.
The layout of city streets and roads has often drawn complaints. While he was Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and remarked that the streets were designed by "drunken Irishmen". He later apologized, though people had already been complaining about the fractured grid system for more than a century by that point. Some of the city's road design is the result of the curve of the Mississippi River, hilly topography, conflicts between developers of different neighborhoods in the early city, and grand plans only half-realized. Outside of downtown, the roads are less confusing, but most roads are named, rather than numbered, increasing the difficulty for non-natives to navigate.
- See also: Metro Transit (Minnesota)
Metro Transit provides bus service and light rail in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. The METRO Green Line is an 11-mile (18 km) light rail line that connects downtown Saint Paul to downtown Minneapolis with 14 stations in Saint Paul. The Green Line runs west along University Avenue, through the University of Minnesota campus, until it links up and then shares stations with the Blue Line in downtown Minneapolis. Construction began in November 2010 and the line began service on June 14, 2014. Roughly 45,000 people rode on the first day; an average 28,000 riders are expected per day.
Metro Transit opened the A Line, Minneapolis–Saint Paul's first arterial bus rapid transit line, along Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway. The A Line connects the Blue Line at 46th Street station to Rosedale Center with a connection at the Green Line Snelling Avenue station. The A Line is the first in a series of planned arterial bus rapid transit lines and is set to open in early 2016.
Amtrak's Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle stops once daily in each direction at the newly renovated Saint Paul Union Station. Ridership on the train is increasing, about 6% from 2005 to over 505,000 in fiscal year 2007. Increased ridership has prompted southern Minnesota leaders to plan for an expansion of Amtrak's service in the area. Saint Paul is the site of the Pig's Eye Yard, a major freight classification yard for Canadian Pacific Railway. As of 2003, the yard handled over 1,000 freight cars per day. Both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe run trains through the yard, though they are not classified at Pig's Eye. Burlington Northern Santa Fe operates the large Northtown Yard in Minneapolis, which handles about 600 cars per day. There are several other small yards located around the city.
- See also: St. Paul Downtown Airport
Saint Paul is served by the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), which sits on 3,400 acres (14 km2) southwest of the city on the west side of the Mississippi River between Minnesota State Highway 5, Interstate 494, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Minnesota State Highway 62. The airport serves three international, twelve domestic, seven charter, and four regional carriers and is a hub and home base for Delta Air Lines, Mesaba Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. Saint Paul is also served by the St. Paul Downtown Airport located just south of downtown, across the Mississippi River. The airport, also known as Holman Field, is a reliever airport run by the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The airport houses Minnesota's Air National Guard and is tailored to local corporate aviation. There are three runways that serve about 100 resident aircraft and a flight training school. The Holman Field Administration Building and Riverside Hangar are on the National Register of Historic Places.
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