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Your Community News & Information Source May 2014 Volume 20 Number 5

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New Lunds to offer grocery, two restaurants, coffee shop and more.

Bengtson settles in to his new role as CRC director Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Wrtier


This architectural rendering reveals the look of Lunds Penfield, scheduled to open on May 15. Bill Knight Contributor


familiar cry has echoed throughout downtown St. Paul for many years: “We need a grocery store.” It’s a somewhat dubious lament from residents who live downtown and don’t treasure having to trek to

the suburbs for their weekly food staples. Those pleas are about to be silenced with the soon-to-open Lunds grocery store in the Penfield apartment building at Tenth and Robert streets. According to spokesman Aaron Sorenson, the store is scheduled to open May 15, offering full grocery,

a cafe, dry cleaner, floral shop, two restaurants and a coffee shop. Customers may park in one of the 100 free covered parking stalls on the northeast side of the building. Those wishing to shop from home may have their groceries delivered to them. Sorenson said Lunds will deliver grocery orders

throughout the city. This is the 13th Lunds grocery store in the Twin Cities. It is similar in size — about 27,000 square feet — to the Minneapolis stores at 12th Street and Hennepin Avenue, and at West Lake Street and Humboldt

Lunds / Page 2

apitol River Council/District 17 (CRC) has named Paul Bengtson as its new director. He succeeds Melissa Martinez-Sones, who stepped down in February to pursue other career opportunities. Bengtson brings with him years of city planPaul Bengtson ning experience from Las Vegas and most recently Lino Lakes. After earning a bachelor’s degree in local and urban affairs business management from St. Cloud State University, Bengtson applied for the Las Vegas position on a whim and was pleasantly surprised when he was hired. He joined a staff of about 50 other planners and got his feet wet by reviewing permits, grant applications and ordinance updates. He also assisted in construction plans and site inspections. After four years he moved Bengtson / Page 2

Remembering our past. Embracing our future. This series features interviews with longtime Lowertown pioneers to get their impressions on how the neighborhood has changed during its renaissance years, and to discover their hopes for its future. Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Wrtier


n 1987 Kelley Lindquist toured nine old, empty and dilapidated warehouses in Lowertown with staff from the city of St. Paul. The City had its collective fingers crossed that Lindquist, executive director of Artspace, a nonprofit real estate corporation, would use his expertise to create affordable living spaces for artists in the heart of St. Paul. The

City’s wish came true. “Lowertown had a desolate feeling back then, like it had been forgotten,” recalled Lindquist in a recent interview. “The roads were in bad shape, windows smashed. It was very uninviting and scary. Six months earlier a dead body had been discovered in one of the warehouses. It was a little overwhelming for me.” Lindquist was new to Artspace at that time and made, as he described, “a

very dynamic career choice” by jumping into the real estate business with no real estate experience. His resume included eight years at Dayton Hudson Corporation, where he worked as assistant to the president of J.B Hudson Jewelry for the company’s Midwest locations, and three years as senior facilities director at the Guthrie Theatre. One day while perusing the want ads he spotted an ad for the executive director

position at Artspace. It gave him pause and he felt compelled to apply for the job. “I was brought up in the arts,” he explained. “My mom was an actress and played Peter Pan in the 1932 production at the University of Minnesota. She quit (acting) to have children. My brother was also in the arts, so I was interested and excited about the arts and about the artists themselves.” Artspace / Page 7

Kelley Lindquist

P eople Bengtson from page 1

back to Minnesota and became an associate planner for Lino Lakes for the next eight years. While there he helped create the city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Bengtson is a busy man. He is pursuing a master’s

Lunds from page 1

Avenue South. Sorenson said typical suburban stores, such as those in Woodbury and Plymouth, are much larger, at about 40,000 square feet. The new downtown store will be open 6 a.m.-midnight daily and employ about 80 people.

Tailored to the market Although Sorenson declined to reveal the specific demographics of the typical Lunds customer, he has a pretty good handle on who will shop at the new store. He predicts considerable foot traffic from people who live and work nearby, and

Your community news and information source degree in heritage preservation at the University of Minnesota and also works each summer at the Minnesota State Fair as superintendent of the Poultry Building. His responsibilities include overseeing the operation, care of the animals and judging. He began working in the poultry

building at age 15. “That’s 24 years,” he said. The “back story” is that his family operates a poultry farm near Louistown, Minn. Bengtson represents the fourth generation in his family to work in the Fair’s poultry building. He has found that collaboration is the key to getting things

done there. That’s what he also wants to focus on as director of CRC. “I want CRC to be able to do more for organizations in downtown than they can do on their own, to help downtown become the most that it can be,” he said. “It has so much going for it, and a good founda-

tion to build on.” He wants CRC to be the voice of downtown residents, recognizing that their interests may not always align with the interests of business owners and visitors to the downtown area. He also wants to assist members of the Building

Owners Management Association, when needed, and tap into their expertise and connections. Bengtsom touted CRC’s redesigned website — www. — which he hopes will become a trusted source for downtown information.

expects that many will visit during the noon hour to buy lunch to eat in or take out. The store will have a full-service grocery department with a heavy emphasis on prepared, ready-to-eat food. “We think this will meet (the needs of downtown residents) who may have a busier, on-the-go lifestyle,” said Sorenson. “They tend to shop more frequently, but buy less each trip when compared to a suburban shopper.” One shopper who will fit right in at Lunds is Roberta Avidor, a Lowertown artist who lives about six blocks away and plans to walk to the store for most of her visits. However, on her big

shopping days she will hook a cart to her bicycle, which will allow her to transport three full bags of groceries. Avidor often shops more than once a week and buys a lot of fresh foods. “I’m a from-scratch type of cook so I don’t buy a lot of processed foods. I tend to make my own,” she said. Another expected customer is Molly McCarthy, who lives about one block from the store and works downtown at Travelers. McCarthy cooks at home about five nights a week and does not use a lot of processed foods in her meals so she is excited about having access to fresh, quality produce and the convenience of an upscale grocery store

close to home. She said she sometimes shops at the Rivertown Market on Wabasha Street but currently does most of her grocery shopping elsewhere.

opening the store. “In an urban store we look at the access to public transportation,” said Sorenson, noting that the Green Line light rail that will begin service in mid-June is just one block from the store. Lunds watches population trends closely and believes the downtown market is large enough to support the store. Sorenson easily ticked off that over 8,100 people now live downtown and about 73,000 people work there. A recent U.S. Census report shows that the Minneapolis-St Paul area grew just over one percent in the last 12 months, and that Ramsey County had a 3.5 percent

population growth between 2010 and 2013. Both Avidor and McCarthy see the Lunds store as becoming a vital part of the neighborhood. “I’d like to see something that makes the store distinctive,” Avidor said. “I am hoping that Lunds, with its proximity to Lowertown, can say it is near a great arts community. Perhaps there can be something in its décor that reinforces that.” McCarthy is excited that the store will offer other amenities, including the coffee shop. “I’m looking forward to having another community gathering spot and the revitalization it brings to this neighborhood,” she said.


Easy access Jamie Pfulh, president of the Minnesota Grocers Association, said a downtown grocery must be easily accessible for people who visit on foot, by bicycle or automobile, and that it must find creative ways to meet the needs of its customer base. This may include offering more ethnic food or more organic and natural foods. Accessibility was an important factor for the Lunds management team when

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N ews Briefs

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{ THE FULLER FILES } Events calendar St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists will present a vocal concert at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 at the Landmark Center, 75 W. Fifth St., and a jazz ensemble concert at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 7 at Lehr Theatre, 16 W. Fifth St. Black Dog Café, 308 Prince St., will present the Steve Kenny Quartet on Friday, May 2, Machinery Hill on Saturday, May 10, and Donald Washington on Friday, May 16. Zeitgeist quartet will perform “Hole in the Sky,” by Kathy McTabish May 16-18 at Studio Z, 275 E. Fourth St. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $10 on Friday and Sunday, and $20 on Saturday, which is a fundraising performance. Books and Bars will hold a discussion on “Lexicon,” a novel by Max Barry, at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 20 at Amsterdam Bar and Hall, located at Sixth and Wabasha. Local Asian-American writers May Lee-Yang, Saymoukda Vongsan, Mai Neng Moua and Kao Kalia Yang, will share new works at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 4 at the Central Library, 90 W. Fourth St. A Coffee Concert sponsored by the St. Paul Conservatory of Music will be held at noon, Wednesday,

May 7 at Sundin Hall at Hamline University, featuring performances by Ivan Konev and Oleg Levin. The school’s spring student recital will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 3 and 5:30 p.m., Sunday, May 4. An Open House will be held at 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 13 at 26 E. Exchange St. Minnesota Museum of American Art (MMAA) will hold a Curator Kids event at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 15 at its project space in the Pioneer Building at Fourth and Robert. The show will feature works of art by young people. St. Paul Public Schools will open its Honor Visual Arts exhibition at the MMAA project space on the same day.

downtown news by Roger Fuller

Bottle House, the other part of the redevelopment of the 19th century brewery, is already filled to its 120-unit capacity. A committee reviews applications and oversees the admission process, which is limited to artists.

City Passport events City Passport senior center, located on the mezzanine level of the Alliance Bank Center, 55 E. Fifth St., is hosting the following events in May: Cinco de Mayo party, 2 p.m., Monday, May 5; Passport Book Club, 10 a.m., Monday, May 5 and 19; Dabble This craft group, 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 6; current events discussion, 11 a.m., May 7 and 16; Passport Readers’ Theatre, 12:30 p.m., May 9 and 23; Health Connection discussion of advanced care planning and future health care wishes, 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 13; Patriotic singa-long, 10:45 a.m., Friday, May 23; and an ice cream float social, 2 p.m., Friday, May 30.

River Bottom Aquatics opens River Bottom Aquatics is scheduled to open in May on the skyway level of the US Bank Center, near Patricia’s sewing and Red E printing. Manager Paul Kochsiek said the shop will sell fish, lizards four inches long or less, and pet food.

Jazz returns to AQ site

Artists move into Brew House

Minneapolis-based Dakota Jazz Club is planning to open a second location in the former Artists’ Quarter jazz club, located in the basement of the Hamm building in downtown St.

On May 15, tenants will begin to occupy the 127-unit Brew House at Schmidt Artist Lofts, 876 W. Seventh St. About 25 units are still available. The

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Paul. The Dakota offers a selection of jazz, rock, R&B, and folk/pop, while the Artists’ Quarter concentrated solely on jazz. Kenny Horst, who operated the jazz club in St. Paul from 1995 to last December, has retained the rights to the Artists’ Quarter name.

Saturday works well St. Paul plans to hold its St. Patrick’s Day parades on Saturdays in the future. The decision was based on parade attendance rates in 2012 and 2013, which were held on Saturday and attracted higher crowds, including more families, than previous weekday parades. The St. Patrick’s Association of St. Paul has yet to take a position on the plan.

Art in the Park The upper Mississippi River will be commemorated through a public art sculpture at the new Lowertown ball park. The sculpture, “Meander,” created by Futures North, a Twin Cities art team, features 28 lighted pillars that represent the 28 dams between Minneapolis and St. Louis. The decision was made by the Ballpark Committee of CapitolRiver Council/

District 17 and the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department.

Bus shelter Metro Transit has allocated $3.25 million for the renovation of four bus stops in downtown St. Paul. Work on shelters at Fifth and Minnesota, Sixth and Cedar, and Fifth and Cedar will begin in the summer and be completed by the end of the year. A fourth bus stop to be located at the US Bank Center will be completed next year.

Public Kitchen and Bar to open Public Kitchen and Bar will be opening this summer on Sixth Street. It will be next to the Barrio bar and restaurant and face Mears Park. Owner Carol March plans to offer lunch, dinner and full bar service.

Depot attracts more groups Two downtown organizations have decided to host their main public event of the year at the newly remodeled Union Depot. The St. Paul Friends of the Library held the Minnesota Book Awards there this spring because it could hold more than 950 people. Its




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CapitolRiver Council/ District 17 voted to ask the city of St. Paul to consider adding a digital projector and movie screen to the Palace Theatre once it is renovated. Bill Hosko, a downtown art gallery owner and a District 17 board member, said the theater, located on Seventh Place, would be an ideal venue to show classic and independent films. The $12 million proposed project would restore the historic theater, built in 1919, to host about 100 music and theater events each year, staged in collaboration with Minneapolis-based Jam Productions. Gov. Mark Dayton included $6 million for the project in his bonding bill.

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previous venue was limited to 800. The St. Paul Riverfront Corporation will hold its Great River Gathering at Union Depot at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 8. The event has traditionally been held at the RiverCentre. Speaking at the event are Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities, Carol Coletta of the Knight Foundation and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.





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A rts & Culture

Your community news and information source

The Sights and Sounds of Cinco de Mayo Susan Klemond Contributor


et ready for the brightest day of the season. On Saturday, May 3, the Cinco de Mayo Festival will charge up St. Paul’s West Side Mexican style with music, food, a parade, car show and activities for all ages. The West Side’s 32nd annual fiesta, organized by the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, promises to be six blocks filled with fun. Here’s a look at what’s happening. All information was accurate as of press time but is subject to change. For more information, visit The festival takes place 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, May 3 on six blocks along Cesar Chavez Street, between Robert Street and Highway 52. Parking is available for $5 in lots near the fiesta. Local non-profit organizations will staff the lots and receive part of the proceeds. Visitors who take the bus can download

and print a free round-trip Metro Transit bus pass to the festival at or call 651-223-7403. For transit information, visit or call 612373-3333.

Special events Cinco de Mayo parade, 10 a.m., along Cesar Chavez Street, from Wabasha to Ada. The street will be filled with the color and music of floats, bands, costumed dancers and more. Lowrider Car Show, 12:30-6 p.m. On Cesar Chavez Street, from Aida Street toward Highway 52, festival-goers may check out the hottest cars, trucks, motorcycles and bikes from all over the region. Prizes for best vehicles will be awarded at 5:30 p.m.

Music and entertainment Local and national bands will perform on three stages. La Raza 1400 AM radio will sponsor the Viva Mex-

ico! Stage, near La Guadalupana grocery store, featuring DJs, contests and giveaways. Nationally known bands including Lamento Show de Durango and Desatados will be featured. Festival-goers may also enter dance contests for children and adults at this stage. At the Fiesta Stage near Cora’s Best Chicken Wings, listeners may enjoy the music of DJ La Peligrosa and West Side Tejano groups, including Los Conocidos and Tejano 2000. Mariachi bands and Aztec dancers will perform throughout the fiesta to give visitors another taste of Mexican culture. Beer and margaritas will be available at both the Viva Mexico! and Fiesta Stages, with soda and water for sale nearby. DJ Rudy and Taquache Mix will also play Mexican music at the Lowrider car show, located at Cesar Chavez Street near Aida Street. The Family Stage at Parque Castillo will offer a

full afternoon of entertainment by and for youth, including folkloric dance and “mini mariachis.” For the full lineup of music and entertainment, visit

Food and beverages Many food vendors will be back with a variety of Mexican and Latin American favorites, including tacos, taquitos and the popu-

lar roasted corn. Festival goers may also enjoy several Greek offerings and, new this year, Asian snacks. Also new this year are more vegetarian, gluten free and vegan food options, said Dan Rodewald, event manager.


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A rts & Culture The Minnesota Twins food truck will offer ballpark favorites and there will be popular fair food, including cheese curds and mini donuts. Beer, margaritas, soft drinks and other beverages will be available.

“It’s a great opportunity to have a little restaurant presence in the festival and at the same time have fun with it,” he said. Festival-goers are encouraged to cheer on participants.

Jalapeno-eating contest

Community Village

This year’s jalapenoeating contest promises to be hotter than ever. Participants will compete for gift certificates to local restaurants and a cash prize. The “heats” will begin at approximately 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Viva Mexico! Stage. Those interested in participating in the free contest are encouraged to pre-register at to ensure a spot, said Benjamin Theisen Escobar, one of the event coordinators. If space remains, it may be possible to sign up at the event. Restaurants, both in the West Side neighborhood and from other parts of the city, are sponsoring the contest and have representatives participating in it this year, Escobar said.

Shop for unique items offered by West Side artists, crafters, growers and vendors at the Community Village, a “placita” market located at Parque Castillo. Local handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, T-shirts, airbrush artwork, secondhand items, seedlings, produce and more will be offered. West Side vendors can reserve a 10-by-10 foot space for $35. For more information and a vendor application, visit

Lowrider car show A fleet of dazzling vehicles will sparkle on Cesar Chavez Street during the lowrider car show. Owners will show their cars, trucks and bikes on the street and

Your community news and information source compete for prizes in 13 categories — everything from well-detailed street rods/hot rods to lowriders to classics. Owners of vehicles equipped with hydraulics also may compete and, if inclined, demonstrate their vehicle’s amazing abilities during the show.

Family Zone Children and parents can enjoy face painting, storytelling and traditional crafts in this area. It also features activities by local organizations, including Art Start (Art Scrap), Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Neighborhood House with Silly Miss Tilly!, Riverview Library, Westside Summit Charter School, Young Artists Initiative and Girl Scouts. Visitors can also take in entertainment for and by youth, including a mariachi band and folk dancers at on a new, larger Family Stage at Parque Castillo. Large inflatable play structures will be featured in Parque Castillo for a charge. Silly Miss Tilly! will make balloon animals and the Riverview Library will offer prizes.

Sports Zone Sports fans young and old will enjoy the Sports Zone, featuring baseball, tennis, soccer and other activities and entertainment. Amateur and professional sports teams and organizations will be represented and lead activities, including the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota United FC Soccer Team, United States Tennis Association and more.

History Zone Back this year is the History Zone, where festivalgoers can learn why Cinco de Mayo is recognized, and the history of the West Side and its annual festival. A walk-through display is planned.

Menudo Run Participants in this year’s 5K Menudo Run will enjoy a new scenic route along Harriet Island and the Mississippi River. The timed run is sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Latino Peace Officers Association and starts at 8 a.m. at Joseph’s Grill at Water and Wabasha streets. Register online at www.cin- or on race day 6:45-7:45 a.m. at Joseph’s Grill. Cost is $30 until April 29 and $35 after that date. Near the finish line at the Wabasha Deli, participants will receive refreshments, a T-shirt, and a coupon for a free full service car wash from the Downtowner, and one for a Bloody Mary or beer. Awards will be given to the top place-winners. Proceeds go toward college scholarships for law enforcement students.

Volunteers If you are interested in volunteering at the event, visit or contact Alicia at volunteer@spfhf. org or 651-223-7403. Volunteers receive a T-shirt.

Community Marshal program Community Marshals help St. Paul Police make the festival safer by acting as extra eyes on the street. The marshals are not asked to confront or approach people but rather to give police

a heads-up about suspicious individuals or problematic groups. To sign up, contact Ruby Diaz at Ruby.Diaz@ or 651-744­-5784.

Cinco de Mayo event button The winner of Cinco de Mayo Festival’s 2014 commemorative button drawing will have a reason to continue celebrating after the event ends: $300 cash. To enter, purchase a button, sponsored by Xfinity Comcast, and return the card that comes with it by May 13. Buttons are available at Boca Chica Restaurant, El Burrito Mercado and Wabasha Deli. According to Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation President and CEO Rosanne Bump, “Even if you buy a button at the event you still have a chance to win.” Cinco de Mayo sponsors include: Comcast, UCare, McDonalds, US Bank, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Metropolitan State University, Boca Chica Restaurant, El Burrito Mercado, La Raza 1400 AM, Escobar Agency, Xcel Energy and Neighborhood House.

Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 5

A rts & Culture Changes made to improve the festival experience

Your community news and information source

Susan Klemond Contributor


hile visitors to the West Side’s Cinco de StPV-MermaidApr2014_Layout 1 Mayo festival might not no-

“AMAZING!!” – Radio Disney

The Midwest Premiere of

“Sparkling! A sure-fire hit!” – Pioneer Press


tice dramatic changes this year, organizers have been working on behind-thescenes infrastructure changes to improve the fiesta.


Stages This year the Viva Mexico! Stage, formerly on State Street, will be located across the street next to the Guadalupana grocery store. “We’re moving that stage to make it a little more tucked into the event,” said Rosanne Bump, president/ CEO of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, which is managing the festival. “We kind of made that space a little cozier and fun to be in.” Festival organizers are also upgrading the Family Stage at Parque Castillo to make it easier for fiestagoers to see community groups performing there. The new stage will be bigger and higher. “I think that’s the place where people can linger and enjoy the festival and have some entertainment to watch,” said Bump.


Information points

Festival goers can find out where and when events are scheduled by checking one of the three-panel vinyl banners placed prominently throughout the festival. The information points will identify the different zones of the fiesta and the day’s activities.

Facebook contests “Like” Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul on Facebook and qualify for cash prize drawings. Those who were fans on the page before March 27 are eligible to win $50, and anyone who “likes” the page by the end of the May 3 event could win $50. If the page receives 5,000 likes by the end of the fiesta, organizers will hold a drawing for an additional $100.

History Zone The History Zone will feature a walk-through display with photos and information on the history of Cinco

de Mayo, and the history of the West Side’s Cinco de Mayo Festival. The Zone will “give festival-goers a little feel for what it is we’re celebrating and what the history of the festival has been throughout the West Side area,” said Bump.

More involvement More local residents and organizations helped plan the festival this year, representing an increase in community support and promotion.

“We have a lot of enthusiasm on the committee,” said Bump. “Our committee has grown by leaps and bounds. There’s just so much going on in the back end that’s exciting.”

Grand Opening 10 am Store Opens 10:30 am

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Page 6 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2014

B usiness

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Artspace from page 1

His interest grew into concern about the lack of permanent living space for artists and the gentrification he saw occurring in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. The energy of artists living there was like a magnet drawing more people to the area, but as more people moved in, rental prices started to rise and soon the artists, or “urban pioneers” as Lindquist calls them, were priced out of the district they helped create.

Humble beginnings Artspace was the brainchild of the 1979 Minneapolis City Council, which was looking for a group to advocate for artists who were living in empty warehouse buildings in Minneapolis. By the late 1980s it was clear that the problem required a more proactive approach. That’s when Artspace made the leap from advocate to nonprofit real estate developer. “I had to apply for the job

because it was my dream — and that of the nine Artspace board members — that we could change warehouse districts from being a clearinghouse for artists.” said Lindquist. “We could own the building and create a permanent building for artists to work, live and perform.” What he wasn’t aware of was that he would also be the janitor and secretary of the one-man office. It was very lonely starting out. His one-room office was in a building on First Avenue North in Minneapolis and during the winter snow sifted through the office’s broken window and landed on his typewriter. “I was in an area of no expertise in fund raising and real estate development,” said Lindquist. “I had been promised a $40,000 annual budget and didn’t even get paid for the first several months. My dear Dad helped me through those first few months.” In 1987 the Bush Foundation and St. Paul Companies (now Travelers) gave Artspace a grant to conduct the first of its kind, sevencounty artist market survey.

“It was overseen by a General Mills executive, and gave us tons of information about artist housing,” said Lindquist. It turned out that the most important thing the artists wanted was space: big windows, hallways, elevators, doorways and tall ceilings so they could move large artwork in and out of the building. They preferred old historic buildings and wanted more control and management of their living space. A blueprint was developed and Lindquist set his sights on Lowertown, particularly the Northern Warehouse and Tilsner buildings, even though the Northern had a caved-in roof at the time and the Tilsner’s top floors were rotted and had windows missing. Lindquist’s grant-writing skills helped garner funding to pay for redesign and a marketing plan for the buildings, but before he could bring in the sledge hammers he had to get the downtown area certified as a neighborhood. Neighborhood designation was imperative because it provided access to City

funding and donations from foundations. The City had recently written a 10-year plan that included housing for artists, and then-mayor George Latimer was in favor of what Artspace wanted to do, which made it easy to work with City staff and City Council members, according to Lindquist. Artists and business leaders united in their effort to convince City Hall that they were a neighborhood, and one year later, in 1989, District 17 in downtown St. Paul was certified.

The first project The initial focus was on the Northern Warehouse Building, which had room for 52 artists and their families. Lindquist developed a partnership with for-profit Hawthorne Management (now Dominium), hoping to glean as much expertise as possible, and hired staff with real estate experience, including Tom Nordyke, an expert in government financing, and Will Law, current chief operating officer of Art Space, who had construction expertise. Next, he hired contractors and architects and secured a

bank loan. Additional funding was received through the Historic Tax Credit and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHIC), and a generous grant from the then-newly formed Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation. “We were one-of-a-kind, getting our funding from city development funding and federal government grants,” said Lindquist. “We had to follow closely the federal guidelines for the LIHTC program for 15 years in order to write off the debt.” Rental rates for each unit were based on LIHTC guidelines, which were calculated from the average median income of the region, the artist’s income, size of the living space and number of people in the household. HUD guidelines were also used in the design of each apartment. “We provided really nice living spaces with an extra area for work,” said Lindquist. The average size of a Northern Warehouse apartment was 1,100 square feet, with some as large as 1,200 square feet. The Tilsner had

units from 850 to 2,000 square feet. “I would get snide remarks about how artists won’t pay their rent because they are having too much fun,” said Lindquist. “I find artists to be quite serious. Compared to other nonprofit housing sites, artists pay a much higher rate of rent. That’s because where they live is where they make their living.” Artspace’s first three livework projects were in St. Paul: the Northern Warehouse Artists’ Cooperative (1990), Frogtown Family Lofts (1992), and Tilsner Artists’ Cooperative (1993). Currently, Artspace has an annual budget of $12 million and owns and operates 35 projects across the country; 26 are live-work or mixed-use projects made up of more than 1,100 residential units. Artspace is based in the Twin Cities but has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans and Washington D.C. “We are a national organization with national influence on what happens to artists,” said Lindquist.

Artspace / Page 12


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Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 7

S ample St. Paul

Your community news and information source

On the Town Children’s Museum

10 W. Seventh St. St. Paul 651-225-6000

“Native Voices: New England Tribal Families” is presented through May 11. Explore five thriving New England communities as they work to balance cultural traditions with life in a modern world. “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice” is presented through May 26. Children will go face-toface with the prehistoric world and meet dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. Tickets are $9.95. Explore the museum free of charge 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month.

Fitzgerald Theater

10 E. Exchange St. St. Paul 651-290-1200 http://fitzgeraldtheater.

“For Pete’s Sake” Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 3, a colorful collection of singers, musicians, spoken word artists, social leaders and filmmakers will honor one of the world’s most influential folksingers, Pete Seeger. The event will celebrate the many phases of Seeger’s life in multi-media and with an abundance of music from across the cultural spectrum. The event will feature Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, John Gorka, Estaire Godinez, Ann Reed, Larry Long, Joyful

Noize, Peter Ostroushko, Waubanewquay Day, Dan Chouinard, Tonia Hughes, Cyril Paul, Kevin Fuhrman, Brian Barnes, Timothy Frantzich, Brittnay Delaney, Mitch Walking Elk, Courntey Yasmineh, Aimee Bryant, Patty Kakac, Barb Tilsen, Pop Wagner, Tony Glover, Charlie Maguire, Marc Anderson, Joe Savage, Cameron Wright, Lorna Her Many Horses and Chastity Brown. Minneapolis filmmaker William Eigen will share footage from his critically acclaimed documentary movies about Seeger. Tickets are $30. EELS Live in Concert - Singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett will perform at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 25. Tickets are $34.

Photo by Peter Mathew

“Love” is presented May 27-June 1 at the Landmark Center as part of the Flint Hills Children’s Festival. Also showing during the festival are “STEP AFRIKA!” at the Ordway, “De Temps Antan” at the Lab Theatre and “Alice in Wonderland” at the Lehr Theatre.

History Center 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-259-3000

“Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis” is

presented through January 4, 2015. Affectionately called “The Pictureman,” Chamblis had a knack for being in the right place at the right time as he documented the Twin Cities Black community. The exhibit features more than 60

images, alongside artifacts, including suits worn by Prince and Jellybean Johnson in the movie Purple Rain. “Toys of the ‘50s, ’60 and ‘70s” is presented May 24-January 4, 2015. Experience the stories be-

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S ample St. Paul hind popular toys, such as Gumby, Barbie, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Spirograph and Hot Wheels, and how they helped kids capture the joy of childhood. “Then Now Wow” highlights Minnesota’s history in the prairies, forests and cities. Visitors will encounter multi-media exhibits, artifacts and images unique to Minnesota’s diverse population and historic events. Ongoing exhibits include “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862,” “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom,” “Grainland,” “Open House: If These Walls Could Talk” and “Weather Permitting.” Museum tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, and $6 for children ages 6-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m.

History Theatre

10 E. Tenth St., St. Paul 651-292-4323 “Working Boys Band” is presented May 3-June 1. In a world before child

labor laws, many young people got factory jobs to help their families get by. In 1918, Professor C. C. Heintzeman formed

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the Working Boys Band to bring structure and meaning into the lives of those children. Through music, discipline and compassion, Heintzeman shaped a rough-andtumble group of young men into a Twin Cities institution. Tickets are $42-$40, with discounts for seniors and students.

Landmark Center

75 W. 5th St., St. Paul 651-292-3225

Pan Asian Festival, noon-5 p.m., Sunday, May 4. Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage month with nonstop Pan Asian dance performances, games and Asian arts activities. Free. St. Paul Civic Symphony will perform a Mother’s Day Concert at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 11. Free.

The Saint Paul City Ballet will present a free performance at noon, Tuesday, May 13, featuring excerpts from the company’s repertoire. Urban Expedition: Brazil, 1-3 p.m., Sunday, May 18. This event features Brazilian music, colorful dancers, crafts and animals from Fantasy Corral. 

Wood Turning Demonstration, noon, Sunday, May 18 in the Gallery of Wood Art. This exhibit provides insight into the history, processes and materials of wood turning. Free. A children’s performance titled “Love” is presented May 27-June 1 in the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium, as part of the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. Performance times are 11 a.m., May 27, 30 and June 1, and 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m., May 28-29. Tickets are $5.

Ordway Center 345 Washington St. St. Paul 651-224-4222

TU Dance will perform at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 10. This 10th anniversary dance concert will feature Alvin Ailey’s duet Twin Cities from his legendary “The River” (1970), repertory favorites, and the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ “One.” Tickets are $23-$48. “Bring It On: The Muscial” is presented May 13-18. A high-flying musical of the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of extreme competition.

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Tickets are $33-$120. Schubert Club presents Dmitri Hvorostovsky, baritone, at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 19. Tickets are $26-$84. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra presents “The Turn of the Screw” May 23-24. Tickets are $12-$42. De Temps Antan presents traditional Quebecois music May 31-June 1 at the Lab Theater, as part of the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. Tickets are $5.

Park Square Theatre

20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul 651-291-7005 www.parksquaretheatre. org

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is presented through May 9. Among eight Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne Frank emerges as a lyrical and intensely gifted young woman. Be inspired by this timeless account of a girl whose imagination and hope

would not be stifled by adversity. Daytime matinees only. Tickets are $38-$58. “Behind the Eye” is presented through May 18. This is a gripping play about the remarkable life of Lee Miller, an acclaimed World War II photographer who covered the front lines, the London Blitz and the horrors of Dachau. Tickets are $38-$58. “The Red Box” is presented May 30-July 13. A lovely young woman is dead and the fortunes of a theatrical producer are at stake. Nero Wolfe, an eccentric detective genius who rarely leaves his comfortable brownstone in Manhattan, and his wise-cracking sidekick, Archie, are called in to solve the crime. Tickets are $38-$58.

Science Museum 120 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-221-9444


“Ultimate Dinosaurs” presented through

August 24. This exhibit features 20 dinosaur specimens from unusual locations in the Southern Hemisphere. “Dinosaurs Alive” is featured in the Omnitheatre. The film follows preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk or fly among us. Museum tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Omnitheatre tickets are $8 and $7 respectively. There is an additional charge of $8 for adults and $2 for children and seniors to view “Ultimate Dinosaurs.”

Xcel Center

199 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul www.xcelenergycenter. com

Stars on Ice – Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis and Charlie White are among the skaters at this event, held at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 4. Tickets are $27-$147.

We’re bursting with exciting activities! FREE events at Cerenity Senior Care Humboldt: Fri., May 9, 1:30 p.m. Colleen Heibler, Mother’s Day Performance Tues., May 13, 1:30 p.m. Kico Rangel and the Strolling Mariachis Wed., May 21, 2:30 p.m. Pages of Music Mon., May 26, Memorial Day Celebration, 1:30 p.m. Service with Betty Rydell in the Park

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N ews Briefs Historic Union Depot Earns LEED Gold certification Union Depot, owned by Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, has earned LEED Gold certification for its restoration. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program of the U.S. Green Building Council rates buildings, homes and neighborhoods according to environmental and sustainability practices. Key elements of Union Depot’s LEED certification included building reuse, building material salvaging, asbestos abatement, construction waste management, connection to district heating and cooling, lighting con-

Your community news and information source trols systems, natural lighting optimization, storm water control, water efficient landscaping, a bicycle station, electric vehicle charging stations, fuel-efficient vehicle parking, bike/pedestrian enhancements, public transportation access and waste management and recycling.

Retail kiosks at Union Depot

Garden club plant sale The Garden Club of Ramsey County will host its annual plant sale 8-11 a.m., Saturday, May 17 at Edgcumbe Recreation Center, 320 Griggs St. S., St. Paul. The sale features reasonably priced common and rare perennials from club members. For more information, visit www.ramseygardeners. org.

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Downtown YMCA Gala The Downtown YMCA is hosting its annual gala 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 1 at the Lowertown Event Center in the historic Park Square Court building at Sixth and Sibley. The event will feature a “Taste of Saint Paul” with food and desserts from area restaurants, including: Man-


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cini’s, Black Sheep Pizza, Fabulous Fern’s, Key’s Cafe, Cossetta’s and Golden’s Deli. Entertainment will be provided by jazz singer Pippi Ardennia, pianist Christine Wellhausen, clarinetist Maureen Seibert and musical ventriloquist Kevin Doely. The gala will also include live and silent auctions featuring a week’s accommodation in Banff, British Columbia, pottery, fine art prints, wine baskets and more. The master of ceremonies is Stan Turner “Lo nuestro

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of KLBB radio, former Channel 5 KSTP news anchor. Tickets are $25. Proceeds support scholarships for YMCA youth programs and memberships. To purchase tickets, contact Tara Monack at 651-292-4141 or This year marks the 30th anniversary of the YMCA in Cray Plaza, formerly Galtier Plaza.

Amtrak to begin service May 7

On May 7, passenger rail service is scheduled to return to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. It is welcome news for rail travelers who have waited through several delays in recent months for Amtrak to relocate from its current Midway site. Service will begin just days before National Train Day on Saturday, May 10. The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) and Amtrak will host a free event that day with activities at the depot. For a schedule of events, visit “With Amtrak, the range of transportation options at Union Depot expands opportunities for travel connections throughout the Upper Midwest and beyond,” said Rafael Ortega, Ramsey County commissioner and RCRRA chair, in a prepared statement. “Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vi-

sion as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people.” Amtrak provides service to Chicago and Seattle on its Empire Builder route. It has been more than 42 years since the last passenger train left Union Depot in 1971. Union Depot, which reopened in 2012 after extensive renovation to return it to a transportation hub, offers other transportation services, including local bus service through Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and interstate bus service through Jefferson Lines and the Megabus. The Green Line light rail train will begin service there on June 14.

Coffee Shack adds breakfast The Coffee Shack, which opened this winter on the ground level of the Victory Parking Ramp at 344 Wabasha Street, is now serving breakfast. Chef Carlotta Wartman has created a menu that provides quick service for people on the go, including breakfast sandwiches, bagels, muffins, French toast, pancakes and more. The shop’s lunch menu features Chicago hotdogs, Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, gyros, salads, hot dagos, French fries and other items available on daily specials. They bill themselves as a “Taste of Chicago” in downtown St. Paul.


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Page 10 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2014

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R iver Connections

Your community news and information source

REFLECTIONS From the Riverfront

Equal, but rarely ever fair Tim Spitzack Editor


he arrival of the vernal equinox is a time of celebration, albeit one that is often mixed with trepidation. The Latin-derived moniker for the first day of spring suggests equal day and night because on March 20 we experience approximately the same amount of daylight and darkness. However, even though that day might be equal, it’s rarely ever fair, as evidenced by my trip to Fort Snelling State Park the weekend following the turning of the season. A program entitled “Desperately Seeking Spring” caught my attention so I headed to the park and joined a handful of others who were longing for the end of winter. We viewed a slide show and saw photographs of colorful flora and fauna that emerge early in the year, and of the animals that are waking from their long winter nap — raccoons, gophers, ground hogs, garter snakes. Next, we went for a hike to see if we could locate any signs of

them. That exercise was like a glove-slap to our windstung cheeks. We were each dressed in winter attire as we huddled outside the visitor center waiting for all participants to gather. We walked a short distance and stopped at a maple tree that had been tapped a week earlier, a plastic hose extended downward from the spike to a covered white bucket. The park ranger explained that sap begins to run as the days warm — a sure sign of spring — and then lifted the lid to show us what had dripped out that week. It was frozen. The ranger tapped the ice crust but was unable to break it so she punched it, to no avail. It was frozen solid. She snapped the lid back on the bucket and we moved on. We shuffled along the icy trail and peered into the bleak, brown forest but saw no signs of spring. Finally, we came to the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and stood on the point and watched the Great River flow by. There was no ice at the river’s edge and no ice floes on the cur-

rent, simply free-flowing water. It was a good sign. In the days following that outing, I noticed other signs of spring, even though the landscape had yet to comply. More birds had returned to our feeder, including robins, those traditional harbingers of spring. Geese and other waterfowl had also returned en masse. I marveled at their flight patterns this time of year compared to their southbound journey in the fall. Many I’ve seen in recent weeks were flying very low, so low in fact that I could hear the rhythmic fluttering of their wings. They were also traveling in long lines rather than the tight echelons of autumn. Early spring in the river valley is the most covetous time of the year. In March, we long for nourishing warmth from the sun. Those who are able to do so take trips to southern locales to find it. Those left in MERRIAM PARK

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the snowdrifts silently envy them and try to smile when they return with tanned faces and tell of their adventures. Spring has arrived but if feels suspiciously like winter. In April, things start to improve. The mercury tickles 40, 50, even 60 or higher. Snow melts and forms sparkling rivulets that stream down streets and sidewalks, racing to the river. The sight of moving water is invigorating, its bubbling sound intoxicating. We experience warm days filled with bright sunshine and cool breezes, but also dark days with ominous clouds that produce pelting rain, growling thunder and streaks of lightning. We welcome the storms because they scrub the land and make it fresh again. With each rainfall we keep an eye

on the river, which captures the melting of winter in 32 states and two Canadian provinces. We wonder just how far it will rise. We also examine our lawns and are astonished to see green grass emerge from beneath dirty, melting snow. We return to our gardens and feel the weight of the rich, black soil as it clings in heavy clumps to the soles of our shoes. Each day of April is like an eraser that blots out the memory of winter, allowing us to forget how harsh those days really were. And then comes May Day. It’s a term that expresses two distinctly different emotions. For those in distress, it’s a cry for help. For those who have battled through a long, frigid winter, it’s a victory shout. We pump our fists in the air and exclaim “May Day!”

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On that day we look Old Man Winter in the eye and notice that he looks frail and emaciated, and we wonder why we feared him. We poke him in the chest and say, “I’m stronger than you. I beat you again.” When we wish for spring, we are really wishing for the glorious days of May when we are standing on the threshold of the doorway to summer. We are wishing for the days when our lawns are lush, trees have sprouted their leaves, colorful flowers have burst forth from the earth and the mighty river looks clean and blue and sparkles in the sun, as if it’s winking at us to acknowledge our victory. We take notice of such things and stop often to smell the flowers, because we can. We finally can.

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B ack in Time

Your community news and information source

May 1934

Cool new items for the home and some weird weather Don Morgan Contributor


n May 1934, St. Paulites had a lot of things to keep their mind off the Great Depression, including some cool new items for their homes and films designed to lift their spirits. They also followed a bitter labor dispute and suffered through some very strange weather. In those days Hollywood was good at cranking out motion pictures that could only be described as happy films. That month people headed downtown to view the light-hearted “Twenty Million Sweethearts” with Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers, “Thirty Day Princess” with Cary Grant and Sylvia Sidney, and “Men in

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White” with Clark Gable and Myrna Loy. They could also see the pre-censorshipcode classic “Tarzan and His Mate,” which confirmed that both Tarzan and Jane looked great in only the briefest of loincloths. Then there was the weather. An early heat wave hit Minnesota that May. The high temperature on May 1 was 90 degrees, and by the end of the month it would hit 95. If that wasn’t bad enough, a severe drought hit the entire Midwest. Oklahoma is remembered as the home of the dust bowl but that year a big dust storm blew into Minnesota from the Dakotas in mid-May. Whipped by winds over 30 mph, the storm blanketed the city with a layer of fine

grit and produced some dirt drifts over a foot deep. Street lights remained on all day and many autos seized up from the blowing dust. It took several weeks to clean up the mess. Due to high unemployment, labor relations had become tense in many areas. Most unions were conservative but a new breed of labor organizers brought some very left-wing philosophies to the bargaining table. That May, a group associated with the Trotskyist Communist League of America began a strike against trucking companies operating in the Twin Cities, in defiance of the national Teamsters’ Union. Their main focus was the Minneapolis market area (now known as the

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Warehouse District), but companies in St. Paul were targeted as well. This was a concern as the strike was called for St. Paul Day in May, a monthly event that brought business exhibitors to the city. Violence was a possibility, but police were ready. Just a week earlier, city police received four Thompson submachine guns and eight new bulletproof vests. The money for both was raised through a promotion organized by the Pioneer Press. St. Paul got off easy, as strikers concentrated their efforts on Minneapolis. St. Paul residents spent the next week reading of extreme violence in Minneapolis, of deaths among both police and strikers, and of a governor who couldn’t decide if he should call up the State Militia. What had been a strike against trucking companies evolved into a general city-wide strike. A shaky truce and tentative agreement was reached a week later and all hoped the issue was settled. St. Paul Day went on as scheduled and was a success. Despite the Depression, commerce managed to trudge along. That month a new Hudson/Terraplane dealership opened downtown at Fifth and Exchange. With the Hudson V-8 and the Terraplane straight six, the company managed to prosper despite low auto sales nationwide.


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Also, the Golden Rule was selling gas water heaters with a new device called a time-o-stat, which allowed the heater to be controlled from upstairs. Before modern thermostats, homeowners had to manually light and extinguish their water heater each time they wanted a bath or to wash clothes or dishes. Those who forgot to turn it off either backed up the city water pipes or blew up their house. The time-o-stat, which turned off automatically, was an important safety feature for homeowners. Even though its price was steep – $16, including installation — sales were brisk. The big commercial event that month was the electric refrigerator show at Cardozo’s, an 8-story furniture store at Seventh (now Seventh Place) and Minnesota streets. Cardozo’s had undertaken a major push to get locals away from oldfashioned ice boxes and into the modern world of home refrigeration. The show crowded the entire first floor of the building with 49 models from five different manufacturers. It also included style shows and cooking classes, all for no admission charge. Promoters touted savings on ice and less spoiled food to attendees, who sampled milk refrigerated for over a week, Jell-O and leftovers. Exhibits also showed the advantages the appliance offered for ice cream

and homemade ice cubes. In those days people used block ice in their home ice boxes. The ice was usually cut from a nearby lake and wasn’t something one wanted to put in their drink. Prices ranged from the top-of-the-line GE models, which featured five cubic feet of space for $169 (available for only $5 down) to the Crosley Tri-Shelvador (“It does everything but hand it to you”), which went for $99.50. Also on display were the nowforgotten makes of Apex, Grunow and Leonard. Today, it’s hard to imagine that people once needed to be urged to try ice cubes, or that early refrigerators were so small. The next time you find your eighteen-cubicfoot model crowded, think back to those folks to whom three cubic feet seemed generous. The show ran for two weeks and drew a lot of people downtown. The heat wave likely helped. The extreme hot weather continued all month, resulting in six deaths statewide. The daytime high for the Memorial Day parade was 95 degrees. Those hoping for labor peace that month were disappointed. Violence continued in Minneapolis for the entire summer. By July the governor finally declared martial law and mobilized the National Guard, and a shaky settlement was reached in August.

Artspace from page 7

The Lowertown of today is much different from the one Lindquist remembers when he was working on the remodel of the Northern Warehouse and Tilsner Buildings. “The buildings are filled with really productive and creative people,” he said. “Now, gigantic people projects have been attracted to Lowertown. That will be beneficial to the community. It is super important for them to keep the Farmers’ Market. Light rail is a really good thing. How can it not be? Artists will be less dependent on cars. It will bring the greater community to their art events.” What about gentrification as Lowertown becomes the “happening” place to live? Lindquist said Artspace is very clear about keeping its two buildings affordable, and just renewed its commitment to both of them through 2042.  Lindquist also is pleased to see that the St. Paul Saints are joining the Lowertown neighborhood. “The St. Paul Saints are family-based and not a big hardcore national team,” he said. “They will be a productive audience for the Lowertown creative community. The artists will need to make sure they have their studios open and develop ideas around attracting families to their studios or to art events. We have to wait and see. But I think it will be a boon for everyone.”

Dtn may 2014  
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