Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
|Edit with form|
|Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Neighborhood/s within:||West 7th, Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Ramsey County, Minnesota|
|State/province:|| Minnesota |
Historic Irvine Park
In 1849 John Irvine deeded land for the park to the village of Saint Paul. In 1871 the park was graded; with the job taking forty-five days with a team of oxen. On March 5, 1872 , the square was officially named Irvine Park in honor of its donor. It was in the year 1881 that the Pendergast brothers installed the fountain at a cost of $900.
Development of Irvine Park brought dramatic changes. Its deterioration, by contrast, was gradual. Early evidence of that decline was the city’s recommendation in 1917 to downgrade the park to a “playground.” Ten years later the fountain was removed and the metal scrapped.
Although occasional plantings and maintenance were done over the next decades, by the 1970’s the park was the local depository for retired playground equipment and a regular stopping point for vagrants. Over 96 percent of the area’s housing was classified as substandard. Public acquisition of property for urban renewal was already underway when neighbors and planners began to recognize the area’s historic significance. The Irvine Park District was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in October 1973. Since 1981 Irvine Park has been a St. Paul Heritage Preservation District. This designation requires that the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission review plans to alter building exteriors in order to assess their impact on the area’s historic nature.
In 1978, in conjunction with the redevelopment plans for the entire district, the Robinson Iron Company of Alexander City, Alabama, cast a new fountain. The fountain is not an exact replica of the original but resembles it in height and general design. The most obvious difference is that the new fountain spouts water from gargoyles instead of dogs’ heads. The cost of the replacement fountain roughly 100 years after the original was approximately $40,000. The bronze leaves near the top of the fountain were a gift from the Historic Irvine Park Association.
Mayor George Latimer formally dedicated the restored Irvine Park on October 1, 1978 , in the presence of Irvine family descendants. Now the scene of weddings, quiet picnics and band concerts, Irvine Park has slipped graciously and gracefully back into its earlier role as the green space at the edge of downtown, protected by the Mississippi River and its bluffs from the rush of progress and the congestion of traffic. Its specialness is in its range of architectural styles and the richness of its history. If you do nothing more than stroll through the area, enjoying the view and the quiet perspective on modern-day Saint Paul that Irvine Park affords, you will have realized part of that richness. But we think the parts that make up this whole are too interesting to miss. We invite you to savor them individually.
If you wish to learn more about the park, as well as the history of the individual homes in Irvine Park, you may wish to purchase the booklet “A Brief History of the Irvine Park District:” which is available at the Alexander Ramsey House. Walking tours are also available at certain times of the year.
Please note* The above text was derived from the booklet.
Alexander Ramsey House 265 South Exchange Street Saint Paul , MN 55102
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (651) 296-8760 or (651) 296-0100
Buildings in Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
|Armstrong-Quinlan House, 227 Eagle Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota||227227||Eagle||Street|
|Eaton-Myler House, 53 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota||5353||Irvine||Park|
|Forepaugh-Hammond House, 276 South Exchange Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota||276276||Exchange||Street||S|
|Horn House, 50 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota||5050||Irvine||Park|
|John McDonald House, 56 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota||5656||Irvine||Park|
|Justus Ohage House, 59 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota||5959||Irvine||Park|
|Murray - Lanpher House, 35 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota||3535||Irvine||Park|
|Panama Flats, 226 - 234 S. Exchange Street, Saint Paul,Minnesota||226226||Exchange||Street||S|
|Parker-Marshall House, 30 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota||3030||Irvine||Park|
|Wright-Prendergast House, 223 Walnut Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota||223223||Walnut||Street|
Structures in Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sites in Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Tours in Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
|Bridge Trail Walking Tour|