Downtown St. Paul viewed from Indian Mounds Park.  Full size photo here.St. Paul (nicknamed "Capital City" and "Pig's Eye") is one of the Twin Cities along with neighboring Minneapolis.  St. Paul is the state capital and second largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 285,068.  The larger metro area consists of over 3.3 million people and is the 16th largest metro in the United States. St. Paul was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849, it was incorporated in 1854. The mayor of St. Paul is Chris Coleman. He was elected in 2005, and re-elected to a second term in 2009.

Burial mounds in present-day Indian Mounds Park suggest that the area was originally inhabited by the Hopewell Native Americans about two thousand years ago. The Mdewakanton Dakota, a tribe of the Sioux, lived near the mounds from the early 17th century until 1837. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, a U.S. Army officer named Zebulon Pike negotiated approximately 100,000 acres (160 sq mi) of land from the local Dakota tribes in 1805 in order to establish a fort. The negotiated territory was located on both banks of the Mississippi River, starting from Saint Anthony Falls in present-day Minneapolis, to its confluence with the Saint Croix River. Fort Snelling was built on the territory in 1819 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, which formed a natural barrier to both Native American nations.

By the early 1840s the area became an important trading center and stop for settlers heading west.  Locals called the area Pig's Eye, in reference to a popular tavern nearby. In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier was sent to minister to the Catholic French-Canadians and established a chapel, named for his favorite saint, Paul the Apostle, on the bluffs above Lambert's Landing. Galtier intended for the settlement to adopt the name Saint Paul in honor of the new chapel. The Minnesota Territory was formalized in 1849 and Saint Paul named as its capital. In 1857, the territorial legislature voted to move the capital to Saint Peter. However, Joe Rolette, a territorial legislator, stole the physical text of the approved bill and went into hiding, thus preventing the move. On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the union as the thirty-second state, with Saint Paul as the capital.

On August 20, 1904, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes damaged hundreds of downtown buildings, causing USD $1.78 million ($45.48 million present-day) in damages to the city and ripping spans from the High Bridge. In the 1960s, during urban renewal, Saint Paul razed western neighborhoods close to downtown. The city also contended with the creation of the interstate freeway system in a fully built landscape. From 1959 to 1961, the western Rondo neighborhood was demolished by the construction of Interstate 94, which brought attention to racial segregation and unequal housing in northern cities. The annual Rondo Days celebration commemorates the African American community.

St. Paul's history and growth as a landing port are tied to water. The city's defining physical characteristic, the connecting Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, were carved into the region during the last ice age. The Mississippi River forms a municipal boundary on part of the city's west, southwest, and southeast sides. Minneapolis lies to the west.   Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Roseville, and Maplewood are north, Maplewood is also to the east. The cities of West St. Paul and South St. Paul are to the south, as are Lilydale, Mendota, and Mendota Heights, although across the river from the city. The city's largest lakes are Pig's Eye Lake, which is part of the Mississippi, Lake Phalen, and Lake Como. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.18 square miles, of which, 51.98 square miles is land and 4.20 square miles is water.

Saint Paul's Department of Planning and Economic Development divides Saint Paul into seventeen Planning Districts, created in 1979 to allow neighborhoods to participate in governance and utilize Community Development Block Grants. With a funding agreement directly from the city, the councils share a pool of funds. The councils have significant land-use control, a voice in guiding development, and they organize residents.
Slightly different than the planning districts are the more popularly known neighborhoods of St. Paul. These neighborhoods are officially recognized by the City of St. Paul and are popularly referred to by those that live within them and others across the Twin Cities.  These neighborhoods are:
Como, Dayton's Bluff, Downtown, Greater East Side, Hamline Midway, Highland Park, Macalester-Groveland, North End, Payne Phalen, St. Anthony Park, Summit Hill, Summit-University, Sunray-Battle Creek-Highwood, Thomas – Dale, Union Park  (Merriam Park, Snelling Hamline and Lexington-Hamline neighborhoods), West Seventh, and West Side.

St. Paul has a similar climate to much of the upper Midwest.  It has a full four seasons with winters being cold and snowy. January temperatures typically range from 6 - 23 degrees Fahrenheit as the average low and high. Summers are typically hot, but not extremely humid.  The average high in July is 83 degrees Fahrenheit, though temperatures are known to go over 100 degrees. Spring and Fall are more moderate temperatures and are very popular seasons for outdoor activities.

As of the census of 2010, there were 285,068 people, 111,001 households, and 59,689 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,484.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 120,795 housing units at an average density of 2,323.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 60.1% White, 15.7% African American, 1.1% Native American, 15.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.6% of the population.

There were 111,001 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.2% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.33. The median age in the city was 30.9 years. 25.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.6% were from 25 to 44; 22.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.

The Minneapolis–Saint Paul–Bloomington area employs 1,570,700 people in the private sector as of July 2008, 82.43 percent of which work in private service providing-related jobs. Major corporations headquartered in St. Paul include Ecolab, Securian Financial Group Inc., and Gander Mountain. In nearby Maplewood, 3M Company is headquarted.  St. Jude Medical is directly across the border in Little Canada.  Nearby Minneapolis is home to several other major corporations.

St. Paul is known for its arts, theatre, museums, parks, outdoor activities, and the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the Minnesota State Fair. The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Fitzgerald Theater, Landmark Center,  Minnesota Centennial Showboat, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indian Mounds Park, Battle Creek Regional Park, Lake Como, and Lake Phalen are some of the important cultural aspects of St. Paul.
St. Paul hosts a number of museums, including the University of Minnesota's Goldstein Museum of Design, the Minnesota Children's Museum, the Schubert Club Museum of Musical Instruments, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Traces Center for History and Culture, the Minnesota History Center, the Alexander Ramsey House, the James J. Hill House, the Minnesota Transportation Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and The Twin City Model Railroad Museum.

Residents of St. Paul can receive 10 broadcast television stations, five of which broadcast from within the city.  One daily newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, two weekly neighborhood newspapers, the East Side Review and City Pages, and several monthly or bi-monthly neighborhood papers serve the city. Several media outlets based in neighboring Minneapolis also serve the St. Paul community, including the Star Tribune. St. Paul is home to Minnesota Public Radio, a three-format system that broadcasts on nearly 40 stations around the Midwest. MPR locally delivers news and information, classical, and The Current (which plays a wide variety of music). The station regionally has 110,000 members and more than 800,000 listeners each week throughout the Upper Midwest, the largest audience of any regional public radio network.

Sports and Recreation
The St. Paul Division of Parks and Recreation runs over 1,500 organized sports teams. There are more than 170 parks and open spaces and 41 recreation centers in St. Paul. St. Paul hosts several professional, semi-professional, and amateur sports teams including the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Swarm, and St. Paul Saints. The Wild (National Hockey League) and Swarm (National Lacrosse League ) are professional teams that play in the Xcel Energy Center in Downtown St. Paul.  The Xcel Energy Center is a multi-purpose entertainment and sports venue that can be converted to host concerts and accommodate nearly all sporting events. It has an official capacity of 18,064 for hockey and lacrosse and over 20,000 for concerts. The Xcel Energy Center hosts the Minnesota high school boys hockey Tournament, Minnesota High School Girl's Volleyball Tournament and concerts though out the year. In 2004, it was named the best overall sports venue in the US by ESPN.

The St. Paul Saints is the city's minor league baseball team. There have been several different teams called the Saints over the years. Originally founded in 1884, they were shut down in 1961 after the Minnesota Twins moved to Bloomington. The St. Paul Saints were brought back in 1993 as an independent baseball team in the Northern League, moving to the American Association in 2006. A new 7,250-seat ballpark is being built in Lowertown.

The St. Paul Twin Stars of the National Premier Soccer League play their home games at Macalester Stadium. Curling has been a part of St. Paul since 1888 and the current club is the St. Paul Curling Club. It was founded in 1912 and is the largest curling club in the United States. The Minnesota RollerGirls are a flat-track roller derby league that is based in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Minnesota's oldest athletic organization, the Minnesota Boat Club, resides in the Mississippi River on Raspberry Island. St. Paul is also home to Circus Juventas, the largest circus arts school in North America. The Minnesota Timberwolves, Twins, and Vikings all play in Minneapolis.

Government and politics
St. Paul has a variation of the strong mayor-council form of government. The mayor is the chief executive and chief administrative officer for the city and the seven-member city council is the legislative body. The city is also the county seat of Ramsey County, named for Alexander Ramsey, the state's first governor. The county once spanned much of the present-day metropolitan area and was originally to be named Saint Paul County after the city. Today it is geographically the smallest county and the most densely populated. St. Paul is the capital of the state of Minnesota. The city hosts the capitol building, designed by Saint Paul resident Cass Gilbert, and the House and Senate office buildings. The Minnesota Governor's Residence, which is used for some state functions, is on Summit Avenue.

St. Paul is second in the United States in the number of higher education institutions per capita. Three public and eight private colleges and universities and five post-secondary institutions call the city home.  Well-known colleges and universities include the Saint Catherine University, Concordia University, Hamline University, Macalester College, and the University of St. Thomas. Metropolitan State University, Northwestern College and Saint Paul College. William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law are two law schools within the city.

The St. Paul Public Schools district is the state's second largest school district and serves approximately 42,000 students. The district is extremely diverse with students from families speaking 70 different languages, although only four languages are used for most school communication: English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. The district runs 82 different schools, including 52 elementary schools, twelve middle schools, seven high schools, ten alternative schools, and one special education school, employing over 6,500 teachers and staff.

A variety of K-12 private, parochial, and public charter schools are also represented in the city. There are currently 21 charter schools as well as 38 private schools. The St. Paul Public Library system includes a Central Library and twelve branch locations.

Several transportation features exist within St. Paul. Residents utilize Interstate 35E running north-south and Interstate 94 running east-west. Trunk highways include U.S. Highway 52, Minnesota State Highway 280, and Minnesota State Highway 5. St. Paul has several unique roads such as Ayd Mill Road and Shepard Road/Warner Road, which diagonally follow particular geographic features in the city. Metro Transit provides bus service and connects the city to the existing Hiawatha Line light rail via dedicated bus routes but will not have its own line, the Central Corridor along University Avenue, until 2014. Downtown St. Paul has a five mile enclosed skyway system over twenty-five city blocks. Many biking lanes and paths are avilable thoughout the city.

The layout of city streets and roads has often drawn complaints. Some of the city's road design is the result of the curve of the Mississippi River, hilly topography, conflicts between developers of different neighborhoods in the early city, and grand plans only half-realized. Due to neighborhood autonomy, some roads suddenly change names without warning.
Amtrak's Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle stops once daily in each direction at nearby Midway Station. Ridership on the train is increasing, about 6% from 2005 to over 505,000 in fiscal year 2007.  Increased ridership has prompted southern Minnesota leaders to plan for an expansion of Amtrak's service in the area, including an overhaul of Saint Paul's Union Depot. The city is the site of the Pig's Eye Yard, a major freight Classification yard for Canadian Pacific Railway. 

The city is served by the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), which sits on 3,400 acres southwest of the city on the west side of the Mississippi River between Minnesota State Highway 5, Interstate 494, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Minnesota State Highway 62. The airport serves three international, twelve domestic, seven charter, and four regional carriers and is a hub and home base for Delta Air Lines, Mesaba Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. The St. Paul Downtown Airport, located just south of downtown, houses Minnesota's Air National Guard and is tailored to local corporate aviation. There are three runways that serve about 100 resident aircraft and a flight training school.

See Also
Pages Tagged St. Paul

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