Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 19-1 1983

Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.

Volume 19

Volume 19, Number 1: 1983

The Como Shops—Transformed into Bandana Square
Author: Nancy Tracy
In 1877 the Northern Pacific Railroad moved its headquarters to St. Paul from Brainerd. A few years later the railroad built repair and maintenance facilities, opening the Como Shops in 1885 at the intersection of Lexington and Como Avenues. The new brick facilities included a machine shop, a blacksmith shop, paint shops, woodworking shops, upholstery shops, office and storage space, and a power plant. Many buildings were added over the next thirty-five years as the
railroad increased the shops’ capacities. For all of these later buildings and additions, there was an attempt to blend the new construction and additions architecturally with older buildings. There was no additional construction after World War I and after World War II, the shops declined. Eventually the city bought the shops and saved most of what remained. Many buildings were rehabilitated for new uses, the largest being a cluster named Bandana Square.
PDF of Tracy article

Swamps, Farms, Boom or Bust—Como Neighborhood’s Colorful History
Authors: Patricia Murphy and Gary Phelps
Before construction of the Como Shops, the Como neighborhood was an undeveloped area of timberland, swamps, and a few farms. Lake Como was probably named by an early settler. Land developer Henry McKenty built the first road to the area in 1857; resort hotels were built soon after, and a railroad line passed nearby in 1862. Planning for a park also began also in the 1890s and the Northern Pacific’s Como Shops completed in 1884, soon employed two hundred people. Residential development soared in the 1880s. There was a fifty-two acre development southwest of the lake named Warrendale. The streetcar reached the area in 1892. The Depression of 1893 slowed development until the building booms of the 20th century. Many changes occurred in the neighborhood in the 1970s and ‘80s.
PDF of Murphy & Phelps article

PDF of Board of Directors