Mid Year Update ~ National Preservation Month
We hope this finds you well, staying healthy and enjoying the arrival of spring! In spite of the challenges of the past year, we have been actively making meaningful progress in the advocacy of our mission, to preserve and promote the cultural heritage, character, and vitality of Saint Paul neighborhoods. Thank you for your support - we couldn’t do this without you in our corner. We want to bring you updates on our work and share with you some of the upcoming activities we have planned in May to celebrate heritage preservation in Saint Paul.
Historic Saint Paul views preservation through a lens that preserves the culture and stories of our communities and has a positive impact in aging housing stock and under-resourced communities.This past year has given us time, reason, and opportunity to reflect on our work and what it means in and for community. We recognize the importance of actively engaging the range of cultural communities that represent our city, elevating stories in the understanding of our collective history.
Saint Paul is fortunate to have many cultural organizations working to document and build awareness of the history and contributions of the communities they represent. Regrettably, there has not been sustained effort to integrate that work into formal preservation priorities and activity in Saint Paul,leaving important stories untold and the structures that represent them vulnerable. In response, we have begun outreach to city policy makers and community organizations with the hope of building new partnerships, and supporting local leadership in a variety of communities as they identify and advance their own preservation priorities.
We are excited to be in the early stages of new projects. We hope to begin renovation of a Housing & Redevelopment Authority owned property in the Little Bohemia neighborhood this summer. In Frogtown, are working in partnership with Frogtown Neighborhood Association, and other partners in the Sherburne Collective to rehabilitate a multiple-family building which has National Register eligibility as one of the first precast concrete multiple family structures in the nation, and has provided affordable housing to Frogtown residents for more than 100 years. The project is a significant example of preservation work rooted in community, planned by and for the surrounding neighborhood and offering truly affordable housing. We are also assisting with vision/plans to rehabilitate an alley house a few blocks away that will become affordable rental housing.
Finally, with a new round of funding for the Restore Saint Paul program, we will offer small businesses forgivable loans to assist with facade improvements. We hope to help locally owned businesses emerge strong as the economy bounces back. If you haven’t already, visit one of our past RSP projects to admire the restoration work and sample delicious local fare. We recommend Salvadoran pupusas at Mañana, Ethiopian tibs at Demera, sambusas at Ashama Grocery & Deli, and broasted chicken at Joe and Stan’s, to name a few!
If you not on our email list, please reach out to stay in closer touch. Watch your email, Facebook, and our auction website for updates & invites to our activities during National Preservation Month! We are grateful for you. There are exciting projects on the horizon that would not be possible without your help. You have allowed us to elevate the important cultural histories and structures of Saint Paul. We hope you will join us and become a part of the story.