Iric Nathanson will be in the store on Thursday, April 4th at noon to discuss his book, “Downtown St. Paul.” Book signing to follow!
Minnesota's capital city was given a lofty identity when young Catholic priest Lucien Gaultier built a modest log chapel in a wilderness clearing and named it for his patron saint. St. Paul's modern downtown would later take shape at this very site. In the mid-19th century, St. Paul's strategic location at the head of navigation on the Mississippi River was naturally suited as a way station for goods and a hub for settlers pouring into the Upper Midwest. While St. Paul had to relinquish its ranking as Minnesota's largest city to its twin, Minneapolis, the city remains at the center of state politics as Minnesota's state capital. Following World War II, a suburban boom weakened the business district, and downtown St. Paul fell into decline. Over the last 40 years, however, St. Paul's downtown has been reinvented as a major sports, entertainment, and cultural center.
About the author:
Iric Nathanson tells the story of this resilient urban district, stretching over two centuries, using images from local archives like the Minnesota Historical Society and the Hennepin County Public Library Special Collections. Nathanson’s most recent work includes The Minneapolis Riverfront and Downtown Minneapolis, both in the Image of America series.