Saint Paul, Minnesota — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 Current as of July 30, 2008. [ 4 ]

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. Though Minneapolis is better-known nationally, Saint Paul contains important institutions and the state government. [ 8 ] Regionally, the city is known for the Xcel Energy Center. home of the Minnesota Wild. [ 9 ] and for the Science Museum of Minnesota. [ 10 ] [ 11 ] As a business hub of the Upper Midwest. it is the headquarters of companies such as Ecolab. [ 12 ] 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. [ 13 ]

History [ edit ]

Joe Rolette. who was responsible for preventing the capital of Minnesota from moving to Saint Peter .

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. [ 25 ] [ 26 ] Galtier intended for the settlement to adopt the name Saint Paul in honor of the new chapel. [ 24 ] In 1847, a New York educator named Harriet Bishop moved to the area and opened the city’s first school. [ 27 ] 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. [ 28 ] 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, [ 27 ] 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. [ 29 ] 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. [ 29 ]

On August 20, 1904, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes damaged hundreds of downtown buildings, causing USD $1.78 million ($46.25 million present-day) in damages to the city and ripping spans from the High Bridge. [ 30 ] 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. [ 31 ] 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. [ 32 ] The annual Rondo Days celebration commemorates the African American community. [ 33 ]

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. [ 34 ] 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. [ 35 ] Saint Paul is the location of the Hmong Archives. [ 36 ]

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Geography [ edit ]

Saint Paul’s history and growth as a landing port are tied to water. The city’s defining physical characteristic, the connecting Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, were carved into the region during the last ice age. Fed by receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz ten thousand years ago, torrents of water from a glacial river undercut the river valleys. [ 37 ] 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 km 2 ), of which 51.98 square miles (134.63 km 2 ) is land and 4.20 square miles (10.88 km 2 ) is water. [ 1 ]

Neighborhoods [ edit ]

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. [ 38 ] The councils have significant land-use control, a voice in guiding development, and they organize residents. [ 39 ] The boundaries are adjusted depending on population changes; as such, they sometimes overlap established neighborhoods. [ 40 ] Though these neighborhoods changed overtime, many of their historically-significant structures have been saved by preservationists.

The city’s seventeen Planning Districts are:

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