African Americans hold a unique place in Saint Paul's history. Construction of I-94 in the 1960s demolished Rondo Avenue, the cultural heart of this community. Many more sites significant to the African American story have since been lost–or are at risk–due to lack of documentation and awareness.
106 Group is conducting a context study of the historical development of African American neighborhoods in Saint Paul to provide a framework for better understanding key historic, architectural, archaeological, engineering, and cultural sites. An advisory group and series of community workshops are guiding the process, contributing to an ongoing process of restoration and healing.
This will be the first cultural context study focused on a non-European cultural group in Saint Paul. The report will lay a solid foundation for the preservation of historic sites and provide tools to help promote African American cultural heritage and heritage tourism in Saint Paul.
“The document contributes to a more accurate and inclusive documentation of St. Paul’s history, including both the obstacles faced by the African American community, and their many contributions to the development of the city.”
- Former Director of Planning and Economic Development
At the heart of Saint Paul’s African American history is the Rondo neighborhood. That history is often excluded from mainstream documentation. Now, the Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation is trying to change that.