Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 34-4 Winter 2000

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

Volume 34

Volume 34, Number 4: Winter 2000

A Water Tower, a Pavilion and Three National Historic Sites: Clarence Wigington and the Architectural Legacy He Left to the People of St. Paul
Author: David V. Taylor
Clarence Wesley “Cap” Wigington was the first licensed African-American architect in Minnesota, whose career with the City of Saint Paul extended for more than three decades. Three of the buildings he designed are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Highland Park Water Tower, the Harriet Island Pavilion, and the Holman Airfield Administration Building. He also designed seven of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palaces as well as the Como Park Elementary School.
PDF of Taylor article

Architect to the Kings of the Carnivals: ‘Cap’ Wigington and His Ice Palace ‘Babies’
Author: Bob Olsen
A chronicle of Clarence W. “Cap” Wigington’s designs for the St. Paul Ice Palaces of the 1930s and ‘40s. Financed by the U.S. Works Progress Administration during the years of the Great Depression, these civic buildings achieved the WPA’s mission: inexpensive, and providing employment for many skilled and unskilled workers. According to the author, “city leaders persuaded people that working hard and playing hard in the dead of winter was the best cure for the economic doldrums of the time.”
PDF of Olson article

Transplants from Europe: Germans, Poles, Italians—Settlers on the Levee
Author: Greg Schach
The Upper Levee is a small piece of land near the Mississippi River, where steamboats landed in the 19th century and “transplants from Europe” were the early settlers. Immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and Poland were later joined by Italians. Most hoped to save money and return to their home villages such as Ripabottoni and Cascalenda in South Central Italy. The Italian community on the Upper Levee peaked at about 500 in the 1940s. When the Mississippi flooded extensively in 1952, it damaged many of the homes on the Upper Levee; consequently the City of St. Paul purchased most of the homes and land in the area, which it later converted to industrial use.
PDF of Schach article

Book Reviews

Gareth D. Hebert, City on Seven Hills: Columns of Oliver Towne (St. Paul: Pogo Press, 1999).

Marda Liggett Woodbury, Stopping the Presses: The Murder of Walter W. Liggett (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998).

Fred W. Peterson, Building Community, Keeping the Faith: German Catholic Vernacular Architecture in a Rural Minnesota Parish (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1998).

Freya Manfred, Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1999).
PDF of Book Reviews

PDF of Growing Up in Saint Paul, Joanne Englund

PDF of Letters to the Editor

PDF of Donors