The Land of 10,000 lakes
Lakes, the people, the seasons...
Saint Paul (abbreviated St. Paul) is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2017, the city's estimated population was 309,180. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents.
Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. The Dakota name for Saint Paul is "Imnizaska". Though Minneapolis (Bdeota) is better-known nationally, Saint Paul contains the state government and other important institutions.
Regionally, the city is known for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, and for the Science Museum of Minnesota. As a business hub of the Upper Midwest, it is the headquarters of companies such as Ecolab. Saint Paul, along with its twin city, Minneapolis, is known for its high literacy rate.
The settlement originally began at present-day Lambert's Landing, but was known as Pig's Eye after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant established a popular tavern there. When Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic pastor of the region, established the Log Chapel of Saint Paul (shortly thereafter to become the first location of the Cathedral of Saint Paul), he made it known that the settlement was now to be called by that name, as "Saint Paul as applied to a town or city was well appropriated, this monosyllable is short, sounds good, it is understood by all Christian denominations".
Saint Paul's history and growth as a landing port are tied to water. The city's defining physical characteristic, the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, was carved into the region during the last ice age, as were the steep river bluffs and dramatic palisades on which the city is built. Receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz forced torrents of water from a glacial river that undercut the river valleys. The city is situated in east-central Minnesota.
The Mississippi River forms a municipal boundary on part of the city's west, southwest, and southeast sides. Minneapolis, the state's largest city, lies to the west. Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Roseville, and Maplewood are north, with Maplewood lying to the east. The cities of West Saint Paul and South Saint 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 (145.51 km2), of which 51.98 square miles (134.63 km2) is land and 4.20 square miles (10.88 km2) is water.
The Parks and Recreation department is responsible for 160 parks and 41 recreation centers. The city ranked #2 in park access and quality, after only Minneapolis, in the 2018 ParkScore ranking of the top 100 park systems across the United States according to the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.
Main article: Neighborhoods of Saint Paul
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 use 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. The boundaries are adjusted depending on population changes; as such, they sometimes overlap established neighborhoods. Though these neighborhoods changed over time, preservationists have saved many of their historically significant structures.
The city's seventeen Planning Districts are:
Greater East Side
Thomas Dale (Frogtown)
Saint Anthony Park