August 2, 2011
It’s National Night Out so I had to take a ride tonight. What a great night for a ride-beautiful weather and lots of people are out at National Night Out block parties as I made my way to the West Seventh Street neighborhood, also known as the West End. Parts of this neighborhood were among the first to be settled in Saint Paul in the 1830s and 40s.
One of the West End’s most visible landmarks is the old Schmidt Brewery, which sits two blocks from the Palace Avenue block party. The brewery has been closed for several years, since the demise of the Gopher State Ethanol plant. While its days as a brewery are over, there are exciting plans to preserve the building for decades to come. More on the past, present and future of the brewery on future posts.
Immediately to the north and east of the grain elevator is a Union Pacific railroad facility that combines two of Saint Paul’s long-time industries of automobile manufacturing and railroads. Shipments of Mazda, Mitsubishi and Toyota automobiles are delivered and dispersed from the railroad’s Drake Street facility.
Two other sights on my ride that caught my eye:
First, this pink house near the east end of Randolph Avenue is right out of a John Mellencamp song.
And second, a sculpture garden in the front yard of a West End home featuring vehicles and bathtubs. It reminds a little of what would be left five years after shooting a Cialis commercial.