Pioneer Press | Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota
At a glance: Dayton's Bluff
BY JOHN NEMO
Special to the Pioneer Press
The Dayton's Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul has been home to numerous ethnic and immigrant groups, from the American Indians who flocked to the Mississippi River bluffs thousands of years ago to bury their dead in sacred mounds and caves to the well-to-do white settlers of the 1850s to the German, Irish and Swedish immigrants of the late-19th century to the Asian, African-American and Hispanic groups who live in the neighborhood today.
Today, Dayton's Bluff is abuzz with what to do about the old Hamm's Brewery site (707 E. Minnehaha Ave.), which spans 33 acres and has more than 54 buildings and roughly 1.3 million square feet that can be developed into commercial or residential properties.
Beer was first brewed on the site in the 1850s, and Theodore Hamm bought the property in 1864. Countless neighborhood residents spent their days working at the brewery, which was later sold to Olympia, which then merged with Pabst. In 1983, Pabst transferred the property to Stroh's, and Stroh's ran things until it closed the brewery in 1997. In 2003, St. Paul's Housing and Redevelopment Authority bought some of the oldest portions of the dormant plant with an eye toward the future.
One option that seems to be gaining some serious steam thanks to the backing of city and state officials is a proposed Asian Pacific Cultural Center. The 50,000-square-foot project would include a theater, library, art gallery, offices, community rooms and industrial kitchen. Dayton's Bluff residents were recently invited to Metro State University for an informational session on planning for the cultural center and how it would fit into the Hamm's site.
DAYTON'S BLUFF NEIGHBORHOOD
Location: On the Mississippi River bluffs east of
downtown St. Paul
Population (2000 U.S. Census): 17,758
Ambience: An eclectic mix of homes and people who share some incredible views of the Mississippi River and downtown St. Paul
Community council: The Dayton's Bluff Community Council, one of 19 councils within the St. Paul District Council System, provides services and programs to improve the neighborhood and serve residents.
Where to find the locals: The Swede Hollow Cafe (725 E. Seventh St.) is known for its fresh coffee and breakfasts that feature Potato Cheddar Pie and other entrees.
Article Last Updated:06/04/2007 11:25:50 AM CDT
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History: Land and railroad speculator Lyman Dayton first platted his "Addition to St. Paul" in 1857, and Dayton's Bluff (as it came to be called) started out as a fashionable residential locale for the wealthy. By the 1880s, the neighborhood had evolved to become more socially and economically diverse.
Housing stock: From restored 19th-century Victorian mansions to low-end 1950s and 1960s ramblers
Tours: The Historic Dayton's Bluff Association sponsors the Historic Dayton's Bluff Home Tour each fall. Walking tours and other historical information are available at www.daytonsbluff.org.
Historic site: Mounds Park (intersection of Mounds Boulevard and Earl Street) features six large mounds that were part of an area used by Native Americans for thousands of years as a burial place.
Rec time: The Dayton's Bluff Recreation Center (800 Conway St.) features an aerobics room, gymnasium, tennis courts, playground, baseball and softball fields and an auditorium.
School district: St. Paul Independent School District 625
Estimated median household income in 2000: $34,465
Estimated median home value in 2006: $176,000 (courtesy of St. Paul Area Association of Realtors)
Real-estate snapshot: A three-bedroom, one-bathroom home built in 1946 has 1,232 finished square feet and is listed for $214,900. The home stands one-and-a-half stories tall and includes a new kitchen with cherry-toned cabinets and new flooring and paint throughout.
Racial breakdown (2000): Caucasion, 52 percent; Asian, 19 percent; African-American, 12 percent; Hispanic, 11 percent; American Indian, 2 percent; two or more races, 4 percent.
For more information: www.daytonsbluff.org