Looking for a free family holiday outing? Next Sunday, December 9, 2012 kids can not only visit Santa and his reindeer with excellent photo ops... they can also craft their own handmade gifts to give to loved ones at Santa's Workshop event at 1:00 pm in historic Landmark Center on Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. Bring along your ice skates and you can also go skating while you are there!
When we were there yesterday they were hosting a holiday bazaar in the dramatic light-filled atrium. It seems only fitting that next week children will have the opportunity to create their own gifts alongside Santa and his reindeer.
I love strolling the streets of St. Paul... has a much quieter vibe than Minneapolis, but also feels more historic and gentrified. I can easily visualize horse-drawn carriages around Rice Park, with elegantly dressed people alighting for nights at the opera or sumptuous parties as in The Nutcracker.
The small hill that is home to Rice Park was open space used to dry laundry and graze animals before it was designated as a public square in 1849. Trees were planted in 1860, and a fountain and bandstand were added in the 1870s. When President Chester Arthur and Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman came to celebrate the opening of the Northern Pacific West Coast rail line in 1883 electric lights were added. It took another 100 years for the museums, libraries, hotels and music halls that eventually bordered the park to be built. Due to its rich cultural and historical significance, Rice Park has been honored as a Great Place in America by the American Planning Association.
The distinctive building that is now known as Landmark Center was built 1892-1902 as the Federal Court House and Post Office for the Upper Midwest. It was designed by Willoughy Edbrooke, in Romanesque Revival style similar to the Old Post Office building he designed in Washington, DC. It was saved from the wrecking ball in 1972 by a group of concerned citizens, restored to its former grandeur and now serves as a cultural center for music, dance, theater, exhibition, public forums and countless special events.
Homes in this part of St. Paul include condos and historic loft conversions in downtown St. Paul, historic homes and condos on Summit Hill overlooking the city, and historic homes as well as fabulous new loft style condos along the riverfront. Check out St. Paul riverfront lofts and Crocus Hill historic homes for sale.