U and U

August 4, 2013

Desnoyer Park, Summit-University, Como Park     19.4 Miles

I spent a good deal of the ride today either on the U or near the U. I’m referring to University Avenue and the U of M’s Saint Paul campus, respectively. But first I had to get there.

A bike rider’s best friend-free air. Courtesy of the fine ladies and gentlemen of BP at Marshall and Cretin Avenue.

A bike rider’s best friend-free air. Courtesy of the fine ladies and gentlemen at Marshall-Cretin BP.

Did a dog (or owner) take exception and a bite out of the sign?

Did a dog (or owner) take exception and a bite out of the sign? Pelham Boulevard and Beverly Road, Desnoyer Park.

A different red, white and blue; the flag of Cook Islands at a home on Glendale Street in Desnoyer Park.

A different red, white and blue; the flag of Cook Islands at a home on Glendale Street in Desnoyer Park. (Give yourself a gold star if you know where the Cook Islands are without looking at a map.)

KSTP1Stanley E. Hubbard famously had KSTP’s broadcast facilities built in 1948 straddling the border of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The middle of KSTP's sidewalk is where Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The middle of KSTP’s sidewalk is where Saint Paul and Minneapolis meet.

My research leads me to believe the boundary between the cities runs down the middle of this sidewalk.

The Hubbard Broadcasting empire housed here began with just one AM radio station which became KSTP. Today, in addition to KSTP-AM, FM and TV, Channel 45 and FM107.1, Hubbard Broadcasting corporate headquarters call 3415 University Avenue home.

The border between Saint Paul and Minneapolis splits Emerald Street right down the middle south of University Avenue.

Emerald Avenue, the boundary between Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as seen from University Avenue. The silver railings and control box in the foreground are part of the Light Rail on University.

Emerald Street, the boundary between Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as seen from University Avenue. The silver railings and control box, on the right, are part of the Light Rail on University.

Signs for the Green Line stop at University and Emerald, in front of KSTP.

Signs for the Green Line stop at University and Emerald, in front of KSTP. As you can see, the official name of the stop is “Westgate.”

The eastbound tracks of the Green Line fade into the distance near highway 280.

The eastbound tracks of the Green Line fade into the distance near highway 280.

What was the Bruce Publishing Company on University Avenue for more than 50 years is now the U of M’s Geological Survey office.

What was the Bruce Publishing Company on University Avenue for more than 50 years is now the U of M’s Geological Survey office.

The U of M’s Geological Survey office relocated to the building sometime between 1979 and ’85. I missed out on an obscure but cool museum because the office isn’t open on weekends. Beside the expected rock and fossil exhibits, there is meteorite debris from northern Minnesota, and displays of vintage compasses, and instruments geologists used in the 1800s and 1900s and, for the cartographer, plenty of maps. For more particulars on the Minnesota Geologic Survey, go to the website at http://www.mngs.umn.edu/

a plaque placed on the flagpole at the aforementioned Bruce Publishing Company remains years after the business moved on.

A plaque placed on the flagpole at the aforementioned Bruce Publishing Company remains years after the business moved on.

Look! And look again! No train regardless of what the Vegas-like signs and lights say.

Look! And look again! No train regardless of what the Vegas-like sign and lights say.

The Court International Building was designed and built as an assembly plant for the Willys-Overland Company, a predecessor of Jeep. During World War I the facility was used as an aviation training school.

International Court 1

The Court International Building at 2550 University Avenue today.

A story in the July 22, 1915 edition of Motor Age magazine announcing the Willys-Overland Building

A story in the July 22, 1915 edition of Motor Age magazine announcing the Willys-Overland Building.

The Willys-Overland Building circa 1917. The address then was 2572 University Avenue.

The Willys-Overland Building circa 1917. The address then was 2572 University Avenue.
Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

The Court International Building.

The east facing side of the Court International Building.

Tractor maker International Harvester purchased the building from Willys-Overland in 1928. International Harvester Company used the property from late 1928 through the early 1950s for truck, tractor, and power unit sales and distribution.  In the 80s the building was converted to offices and renamed Court International.

This bus-bike road goes between the U of M’s Saint Paul and Minneapolis campuses (campi?) For the bike rider it’s a smooth, relatively safe and direct route to go between one another or points along the way.

This bus-bike road goes between the U of M’s Saint Paul and Minneapolis campuses (campi?) For the bike rider it’s a smooth, relatively safe and direct route to go between one another or points along the way. At the bus-bike road’s intersection with Westgate Drive, facing east.

This happy couple watched me pedal past the corner of Langford and Langford.

This happy couple watched me pedal past the corner of Langford and Langford.

IMG_3572

These cacti obviously enjoy the dry weather. Hillside and Gordon Avenues in Como Park.

These cacti obviously enjoy the dry weather. Hillside and Gordon Avenues in Como Park.

Not wanting to meet either Mr. Smith or Ms. Wesson, I stayed on the street to capture this picture of 2416 West Bourne Avenue.

Not wanting to meet either Mr. Smith or Ms. Wesson, I stayed on the street to capture this picture of 2416 West Bourne Avenue.

Looking east on Como Avenue at the Saint Paul-Minneapolis boundary.

Looking east on Como Avenue at the Saint Paul-Minneapolis boundary. Notice the color change of the pavement.

Cars on highway 280 unknowingly zoom past the Kasota Ponds Wildlife Area. To my untrained eye, it isn’t more than a glorified drainage pond at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Cars on highway 280 unknowingly zoom past the Kasota Ponds Wildlife Area. To my unscientific eye, it looks like an upscale drainage pond at the end of Hunting Valley Road.

A mere 10 feet from the 'Please Don't Litter' sign is litter.

A mere 10 feet from the ‘Please Don’t Litter’ sign is litter.

If there is any doubt that we have too much stuff, look at the proliferation of storage rentals like this one on Hunting Valley Road, just west of highway 280.

If there is any doubt that, as a society, we have too much stuff, look at the proliferation of storage rentals like this one on Hunting Valley Road, just west of highway 280.

Saint Paul's Luther Seminary is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Seminary is nestled in a quiet part of the Como Park neighborhood intermingled with homes and small businesses.

Saint Paul’s Luther Seminary is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Seminary is nestled in a quiet part of the Como Park neighborhood intermingled with homes and small businesses.

Bonio Bokun is a divinity student at Luther whom I met while biking through the pastoral Pastoral campus. Bonio’s relaxed, friendly demeanor became apparent moments after we began talking. He came to the U.S. about two months ago from Papua New Guinea, a South Pacific island 100 miles north of Australia. “I was a minister back home and I was teaching at our only Lutheran School. It’s a layman’s school; we call it a college.”

Bonio Bokun relaxes on a bench at Luther Seminary.

Bonio Bokun, a Luther Seminary divinity student, relaxes on a bench at the school.

Bonio told me he prepared young men and women for youth ministry work. After graduating, they move to remote parts of Papua New Guinea to work with children.

Bonio said he likes America and Saint Paul and the August weather agrees with him. “Right now I like it. The weather is fine, the weather is good to me I would say.”

Although he’s been in the U.S. for only two months, Bonio already knows this weather isn’t going to last. “I heard from the missionaries, from the stories I read and from the pictures I see, from the movies and from all those.”

So, I asked, how will he deal with his first cold winter? “That’s a good question.” And then he paused and said, “Maybe you can help me and we’ll find a layer of clothing.” Bonio laughed and added, “Two or three (layers) and a jacket on top.”

Adapting to our food may be a bigger adjustment than the weather. “Back home I eat root foods like casaba, taro, yam, sweet potatoes and all this, because it’s a tropical country. All year around we grow crops, I mean vegetables, tropical fruits, it’s all there.”

Bonio earned a scholarship for the two-year program at Luther Seminary. Upon completion, he’ll return to his wife and five children and his home in the town of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea.

Bonio’s final comment to me concerned his family, “I miss home. I have my family and kids and all this. I pray, ‘OK God, keep them safe.’”

Ralph Rapson designed this home at 2152 West Hoyt Avenue. Known as the David and Kathy Daly House, it was built in 1986.

Ralph Rapson designed this home at 2152 West Hoyt Avenue. Known as the David and Kathy Daly House, it was built in 1986.

Ralph Rapson, a prominent and highly regarded architect and designer, came to Minnesota in 1954 to teach architecture at the University of Minnesota. Rapson was a self-described modernist with strong Bauhaus influences. Rapson retired from the U in 1984 but continued to work until the day before he died in March 2008 at the age of 93.

An interesting side note. The border of Saint Paul and Falcon Heights runs through the middle of Hoyt Avenue here. Therefore, the Daly House and its neighbors on the south side of Hoyt are in the Capitol City and fall just outside of the unique University Grove neighborhood. “The Grove,” as it’s called by its residents, has 103 architect-designed houses (including about 10 Rapson homes) on lots in Falcon Heights owned by the University of Minnesota. Residents purchase the houses but lease the property from the U. At least one resident of each home must be or have been a U of M employee. There is much more to the University Grove story which you can check out at http://www1.umn.edu/ugrove/welcome.html .

The Saint Paul Regional Water Services water tower at Cleveland and Dudley.

The Saint Paul Regional Water Services water tower at Cleveland and Dudley.

The Saint Paul campus of the U of M is actually in Falcon Heights, not Saint Paul. Nevertheless, Saint Paul proper has plenty of campus-related facilities, which I’ll get to in a moment.

The Saint Paul Campus is nicer than its Minneapolis counterpart for several reasons. First, with a residential neighborhood to the west and the State Fair grounds to the east, there isn’t the tumult, noise and congestion. Second, as the Agriculture campus, you’ll find a barn or two, so you’ll occasionally hear a cow moo, a neighing horse or the clucking of chickens, all superior to the sounds of honking horns and screeching tires at the Minneapolis campus. Third, fields of crops dot the northern edge of campus, adding to the rural feel.

Now, a small sample of the U-related entities in Saint Paul along the west (Saint Paul) side of Cleveland Avenue.

Here’s a clue I’m within proximity of the University of Minnesota’s Ag campus.

Here’s a clue I’m within proximity of the University of Minnesota’s Ag campus.

anna westin 1

The Anna Westin House is a church-turned-eating disorder treatment center for adults. The Emily Program purchased the former St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church in 2009 and converted it to an inpatient center for up to 16 people.

The north side of the Anna Westin House on Cleveland Avenue.

The north side of the Anna Westin House on Cleveland Avenue.

Signs for the campus along Cleveland.

Signs for the campus along Cleveland.

A U of M security officer makes a repair to his bike before heading back to the Minneapolis campus.

A U of M security officer makes a repair to his bike before heading back to the Minneapolis campus. 

Renovation of Coffey Hall as viewed from Cleveland Avenue.

Renovation of Coffey Hall as viewed from Cleveland Avenue.

One of many student buildings on the Saint Paul side of Cleveland Avenue, China Place is home to a pair of programs, the Hospitality Center for Chinese and China Service Ventures.

One of many student buildings on the Saint Paul side of Cleveland Avenue, China Place is home to a pair of programs, the Hospitality Center for Chinese and China Service Ventures.

Lambda Delta Phi is a sorority at 1381 Cleveland.

Lambda Delta Phi is a sorority at 1381 Cleveland.

Beta of Clovia at the corner of Cleveland and Carter, is an ag sorority created on the foundations of 4-H and an emphasis on academics and activities.

Beta of Clovia at the corner of Cleveland and Carter, is an ag sorority created on the foundations of 4-H and an emphasis on academics and activities.

I frequently flirted with the borders separating Saint Paul from its neighbors. Then there were the sights, sites, sounds and even a few smells of University (Avenue) and University (of Minnesota Saint Paul campus.) Until my next ride…

This is the link to the map of this ride: http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/346530763

One thought on “U and U

  1. So…what is your plan for this? You really need to publish as a book and market the rides, pull in restaurants and other tourist opportunities. You have set yourself up well for this…done the research…now have fun digging deeper!

    Like

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