Golden Rule Building, 85 7th Place East, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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Golden Rule Building

Photo shows renovation work in 2001.
Address: 85 7th Place E
Neighborhood/s: Downtown, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1891
Primary Style: Neoclassical
Additions: 1901, 1910, and 1914
Major Alterations: Some/mostly intact
Historic Function: Business
Current Function: Business
Architect or source of design: Clarence Johnston, Sr. (Additions)

Downtown Saint Paul Ramsey County

Golden Rule Building, 85 7th Place East, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(44.948429,-93.093533warning.png"44.948429.-93.093533" is not a number. )

In 1886 the three owners, William & Joseph Elsinger and Jacob Dittenhofer, established the Golden Rule Dept. Store in St. Paul at 7th and Minnesota Streets. In 1891 the store was moved to a three story building on this site. Major additions were made in 1901, 1910, and 1914. In 1902 C. H. Johnston, Sr. designed a new facade for the original ca. 1890s structure, and he also designed the 1910 and 1914 additions. In 1928 the Golden Rule was acquired by Hahn Dept. Stores, which later became the Allied Stores Corp. whose holdings included Donaldson's Dept. Store in Minneapolis. The St. Paul store became known as "Donaldson's Golden Rule", and eventually simply called "Donaldson's." In 1980 the building was vacated when Donaldson's moved into their new store in the Town Square complex (and later folded).

The building is renovated now but the city as recently as in the 1990s recommended the demolishing of this building to free up more land for new development.



These huge department stores like the Golden Rule once beckoned shoppers to downtown St. Paul. They were gradually closed with the advent of suburban shopping malls. The Retail Clerks union, now part of the United Food & Commercial Workers, represented workers at the stores.

Memories and stories


65}px This place is part of the
Saint Paul Labor History Tour

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