The Marshall Plan

Summit-University, Ramsey Hill, Cathedral Hill     August 17, 2013

13.7 miles

Marshall Avenue from Chatsworth eastward is one of the most mottled thoroughfares I’ve ridden in terms of age, style and function of the structures along its blocks. As you’ll see, there are homes-from single family to an eight-plex, apartments and town houses, nursing homes, non-profits, offices, a college and more. The socio-economic level appears to fluctuate significantly along Marshall as well.

A City-owned apartment development at the southwest corner of Marshall and Victoria.

A City-owned apartment development at the southwest corner of Marshall and Victoria. I believe the complex offers rent subsidies but I am unable to confirm that.

732-736 Marshall Avenue is a three-story eightplex built in 1888.

732-736 Marshall Avenue is a three-story eightplex built in 1888.

The Marshall Avenue Townhomes, 708- 730 Marshall Avenue.

The Marshall Avenue Townhomes, 708-730 Marshall Avenue.

701 Marshall appears to be in the initial stage of repair.

701 Marshall appears to be in the initial stage of repair.

This very red house, constructed in 1895, at 687 Marshall.

An unusually red house, constructed in 1895, at 687 Marshall.

Wilder's Community Center for Aging was expanded and renovated in 2011 at 650. providing low-income adults and adults with disabilities living in the east metro with programs and services that allow them to live independent and healthy lives.

Wilder’s Community Center for Aging, 650 Marshall, was expanded and renovated in 2011. Low-income adults and adults with disabilities living in the east metro come here for programs and services that allow them to live independently and more healthily.

wilder bench 1

wilder benches 2

Benches at the Wilder Community Center for Aging not only add a dash of color but offer encouraging words.

This stone house, faced in Mankato limestone, at 625 Marshall served as the parsonage house for the nearby Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on Dale1, Gideon and Mary Ivins House.

This stone house, faced in Mankato limestone, served as the parsonage house for the nearby Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on Dale1, Gideon and Mary Ivins House. 625 Marshall.

Victorian 1 victorian 2

Two spectacular Victorians, 573 Marshall (deep red), built in 1894 and next door, the younger sister, 569 Marshall (yellow and grey), built in 1900.

This 1978 split level doesn’t mesh with surrounding homes.

This 1978 split level does not fit in with surrounding homes.

Known as the Castle, the Daniel and Elizabeth Lawler House, has a variety of distinctive features including the peaked tower on the right and two story porches on the left.

Known as the Castle, the Daniel and Elizabeth Lawler House, has a variety of distinctive features including the peaked tower on the right and two-story porches on the left.

castle plaque

512-514 is a triplex.

The triplex at 512-514.

Bethel Care Center is at 420 Marshall. Provides both long term and short term care dependent upon the needs of about 119 residents and 131 beds Nursing home.

Bethel Care Center, 420 Marshall, provides both long-term and short-term care to meet the needs of about 119 residents.

I've seen some of Marshall Avenue's homes, apartments, facilities for senior citizens and now, a Boy Scout facility.

I’ve seen some of Marshall Avenue’s homes, apartments, facilities for senior citizens and now, a Boy Scouts center.

The Hulings Scout Service Center is the main office for The Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts. Created in 1910, the St. Paul council of the Boy Scouts became the Northern Star Council with the 2005 merger of Indianhead (St. Paul) and Viking (Minneapolis) Councils. The Northern Star is the fifth largest council in the US with nearly 72,000 youths involved, according to the website.

The Bill Hulings Memorial Values Plaza offers a bit of a lull from the din of Marshall and Western. The pleasantly landscaped plaza offers benches, rocks engraved with the Scout Law and a tribute to Saint Paul Police detective Allan George Lee who was shot and killed trying to capture a robbery suspect. http://www.spphs.com/honor_roll/lee.php

The Bill Hulings Memorial Values Plaza offers a bit of a lull from the din of Marshall and Western.

The pleasantly landscaped Bill Hulings Memorial Values Plaza offers benches, rocks engraved with the Scout Law and a tribute to Saint Paul Police detective Allan George Lee who was shot and killed trying to capture a robbery suspect. http://www.spphs.com/honor_roll/lee.php

One of the rocks in the Huling Values Plaza.

The Boy Scout Law is written on rocks in the Hulings Values Plaza. This rock bares the word ‘kind.’

Another rock in the Plaza memorializes St. Paul Police detective Allan

Another rock in the Plaza memorializes St. Paul Police detective Allan George Lee.

The end of the line for this Pedal Pub run. I wonder how these folks got home?

The end of the line for this Pedal Pub run. I wonder how these folks got home?

The original building of the former St. Joseph's Academy, now Christ's Household of Faith.

The original building of the former St. Joseph’s Academy, now Christ’s Household of Faith.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened an all-girls Catholic boarding school in this building in 1863. At that time, St. Joseph’s Academy, as the school was called, was too far from homes in downtown Saint Paul for the girls to make the trek back and forth daily. St. Joseph’s Academy grew so quickly that three buildings were added by 1885.

St. Joseph's Academy in 1887. The original building constructed in 1863 is on the left. Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society.

St. Joseph’s Academy in 1887. The original building constructed in 1863 is on the front left. Additions are visible to the far left, right and back right. Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society.

Chof 1

The cross and sign above one of the entrances to Christ’s Household of Faith.

It took 20 years for the rapidly growing city to spread westward past the school’s Cathedral Hill (then called St. Anthony Hill) location. The addition of residences in the neighborhood allowed the Sisters to make the Academy a day school1. St. Joseph’s Academy finally closed in 1971 after more than 100 years due to declining enrollment. Five years later, the St. Joseph’s Academy buildings and property were purchased by Christ’s Household of Faith.

CHOF is a small, mysterious religious sect that some say is a cult. Many, if not most, members of Christ’s Household of Faith live here, in the former St. Joseph’s Academy building, which also serves as a school for about 153 students in Pre-K through 12th.

Chof 2

One of the Marshall Avenue entrances to Christ’s Household of Faith, a.k.a. CHOF, at 355 Marshall.

chof 3

The second and third floors of one of the CHOF buildings along Marshall.

No doubt the Italianate design of the buildings, their age, peeling paint and unusually draped windows add to CHOF’s mystique. For anyone with an active imagination, it’s easy to get the heebie-jeebies even during the daytime. On top of the physical traits of the buildings, a Google search yields nothing official about Christ’s Household of Faith-no website, and little beyond that other than links to several news stories about CHOF and Minnesota State High School League information about the school’s athletics information. The enigmatic nature of the group increases speculation about its beliefs and activities.

A historical marker with a brief history of St. Joseph’s Academy.

A historical marker with a brief history of St. Joseph’s Academy.

The Aberdeen condominiums, 370 Marshall.

The Aberdeen condominiums, 370 Marshall.

The Aberdeen Condominiums, directly across the street from CHOF, is among the newer developments on Cathedral Hill. The 50-plus unit luxury condo is named after the Aberdeen Hotel which stood nearby from the 1880s until about 1944.

Catholic Charities St. Christopher Home.

Catholic Charities St. Christopher Home.

Edging ever closer toward downtown I stopped for a picture at St. Christopher Place, a Catholic Charities facility for low-income residents. According to the Catholic Charities website, St. Christopher Place has 70 single rooms and common areas for men and women working to better their lives.

The main entrance to Saint Paul College on Marshall.

Saint Paul College main entrance at 235 Marshall.

Saint Paul College abuts the busy corner of Marshall and John Ireland Boulevard, by which many hundreds of cars pass daily. I doubt most of those who zoom by know what an excellent school Saint Paul College is. The College was named the best community college in the country by one publication and placed in the top 10 in another. Students choose from programs covering culinary arts, trade and technical programs like pipefitting and welding, liberal arts courses as varied as computer science, American Sign Language and business curriculum such as entrepreneurship and accounting.

Saint Paul College traces its ancestry to the St. Paul Institute, which started teaching classes in the building trades in the summer of 1910. Students came from area high schools. In 1919 the program became St. Paul Boys Vocational School with classes taught at Central and Mechanic Arts High Schools. Another notable event was the 1942 opening of Girls Vocational School at Mechanic Arts. A seismic shift in the philosophy of St. Paul Vocational came in 1966 when the school was transformed from a trade school for high school boys to a co-ed post-secondary school. To top it off, the newly created St. Paul Area Technical Vocational College moved into a new building at 235 Marshall. The website celebrating the College’s centennial is a great source for more history and pictures. http://saintpaulcollegecentennial.org/ 

Saint Paul College looking northwest from the corner of Marshall and John Ireland.

Saint Paul College, looking northwest from the corner of Marshall and John Ireland.

The intersection of Marshall and John Ireland Boulevard was immediately behind me when I took the above picture. John Ireland Boulevard is the eastern end of Marshall Avenue. My ride continued east where quickly, I saw striking changes in the scenery. I’ll pick up the story of the rest of the ride in my next post. Meanwhile, here is the map of the entire route of my August 17th ride.  http://www.mapmyride.com/us/mendota-heights-mn/route-from-file-2013-08-17-17-41-56-00-0-route-325541565

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