Art and Colleges

Sunday, March 18, 2012

8.2 miles


When I go for a ride I usually pick a general direction or area of the city in which to go. I’ll review my master map of streets on which I’ve ridden so that I bike on as many new streets as possible. Often I’ll try to ride into the prevailing winds on my way out so that the breeze is to my back on the return voyage.  However, living on the southwest side of Saint Paul makes this difficult.  That’s why I biked north and east today even though the wind was out of the south-southwest at 20-plus miles per hour with higher gusts.

An area of Macalester-Groveland frequently called “Tangletown” caught my eye as I perused the map so I made it the first destination today.  It was at the corner of Cambridge, Amherst and Princeton where the inspiration for today’s themes, Art and Colleges, came.  Not only are the three streets that intersect here named after prestigious institutions of higher learning, one of the houses, 1714 Princeton, featured a couple of pieces of public art.

A tree trunk became a canvas for a skilled carver. 1714 Princeton.

On the side of the same Princeton Avenue house is this sculpture.

Across the street…or streets…is 161 Cambridge Avenue.

Perhaps "Tangletown" should be named "Collegetown." The corner of Amherst, Cambridge and Princeton.

This home was designed in 1890 by Cass Gilbert, architect of the Minnesota State Capitol and many other homes and buildings.

This unusual barn-shaped house grabbed my attention with its splendid porch, iron fence, matching barn/garage and large lot.  According to the Ramsey County Historical Society, the house was designed in 1890 by Cass Gilbert, the architect of the Minnesota State Capitol building, and James Knox Taylor. Gilbert designed the garage/barn several years later.

The black Queen Anne style home with thin clapboard is striking. With little imagination, it would lend itself quite well to Halloween. Princeton Avenue.

Bee in a tree? Fly in the sky? More art, this time a sculpture made of what may be old automobile parts.

OK, this combo garage and deck isn’t really art but the two level warm weather hang out was too good to skip. It belongs to the home on the corner of Goodrich and Fairview.

The new style manhole covers. This one and others in Tangletown were added as part of 2011 street reconstruction.

The common "old school" manhole cover.

I don’t think of manhole covers as art either but this new version, installed as part of a street reconstruction project last year, includes the city logo.  Can you find all the symbols in the logo?

Did these guys get their beads celebrating Mardi Gras?

These three fellows are camped out in the front yard of a Cambridge Avenue home.

And this guy, born of a tree, is keeping watch on Lincoln Avenue.

Next door, the entire house might qualify as art with the unique paint scheme.

Lincoln Avenue runs into Macalester Street and the western part of Macalester College…though Grand Avenue is apparently more like the main entrance.

The view of Macalaster College looking east from Lincoln Avenue and Macalaster Street.

Macalaster College from Grand Avenue and Macalaster Street.

The Macalester Student Center is reflected in the Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel, which opened in 1969. The Chapel, a gift of the F.T. Weyerhaeuser family, serves as a worship space and hosts community events.

I crossed Snelling going east on Grand Avenue, leaving Macalester College and Tangletown behind.

The awnings of the shops on Grand Avenue, just east of Snelling, add an extra dash of color to the area.

The Emerald Ash Borer has invaded several city neighborhoods, causing the eventual death of infected trees. In an effort to slow or halt the spread of the luminescent insect, the city is cutting down Ash trees in these areas. This is the result. Eleanor Avenue in Highland Park.








Back to Highland Park as I neared the end of the day’s ride. Horace Mann Elementary School is one of many Saint Paul buildings that was designed by Clarence “Cap” Wigington, the first African-American architect in Minnesota.  Here the artistry is in the building itself.  I will have more on Cap Wigington’s accomplishments as I visit the numerous Saint Paul buildings of his creation.

The original part Horace Mann Elementary School, which was designed by Cap Wigington and built in 1930.

Note the Torches of Learning, one of many details that Wigington designed into Mann.

Beautiful brick and stonework are other decorative elements Wigington put into his work.

The wall in the foreground was a Works Progress Administration project. The WPA was created in 1935 by a directive of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to counter some of the effects of the great depression by putting people to work on public projects. Mann Elementary School is in the background.


Today's route.

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