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Saint Paul, Minnesota, most commonly abbreviated St. Paul, is the second most populous city in the state of Minnesota following only Minneapolis. It is situated in east-central Minnesota and is also the state capital and represents one half of the metro area known as the “Twin Cities” sitting on the north and east bank of the Mississippi with Minneapolis to its west. The cities developed here, just north of the convergence with the Minnesota River because of the ideal location. It was a military advantage to use this location and the growing shipping and transportation industry used these rivers for commerce and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area became a major hub to the Upper Midwest.

In 1849 the Minnesota territory was formalized and St. Paul declared its capital, but not until May of 1858 – almost a decade later, would Minnesota be admitted to the union as the 32nd official state. For years, as the upper Midwestern territories were being settled, Saint Paul was known as “The Last City of the East”.

The city itself covers over 56 square miles of land, although 3.4 square miles of that is actually water. St. Paul’s largest lakes are Pig’s Eye Lake (in the Mississippi River), Lake Phalen and Lake Como.

In 1979 St. Paul decided to create a structure to allow neighborhoods to participate in governing and use community development block grants (CDBG). This enabled a funding agreement directly from the city and the active councils share a pool of funds and have major land-use control and a voice in their own government as well as serving to organize residents. To utilize these funds, the large city was divided in to seventeen Planning Districts: Sunray/Battlecreek/Highwood, Greater East Side, West Side, Dayton’s Bluff, Payne/Phalen, North End, Thomas Dale (a.k.a. as Frogtown), Summit/University, West Seventh, Como, Hamline/Midway, Saint Anthony Park, Union Park, Macalester/Groveland, Highland Park (a.k.a. Highland), Summit Hill and Downtown.

However for the purposes of real estate, which has of course been around a lot longer than just 1979, there are 13 neighborhoods of St. Paul are referenced as: Phalen, Hillcrest/Hazel Park/Daytons Bluff, Southeast St. Paul, Riverview/Cherokee, Home Croft/W 7th, Crocus Hill, Downtown Stp/Capital Hghts, Central, Como, St. Anthony/Midway, Town & Country/Merriam Park, Mac/Groveland/River Road, and Highland Area.

And whether you are using the CDBG neighborhood descriptor or the MLS one, each neighborhood has its own unique personality. St. Paul is home to such wonderful museums as the American Association of Woodturners, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Minnesota History Museum, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota Science Museum, Minnesota Transportation Museum, Ramsey County History Museum, Schubert Club Museum and Traces (formerly the Landmark Center).

And if museums aren’t your cup of tea, Saint Paul is also home to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and McKnight Theatre, Padleford Riverboats, and Xcel Energy Center which is host to The Wild, the local hockey team and any number of large acts, shows, and conventions coming through town. It is also home to dozens of theaters, amphitheatres, pavilions, stadiums, halls, café’s, restaurants and bars, many with individual (or family-owned) history in the neighborhood.

For more detailed information check out the city website http://www.stpaul.gov

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