Felecia Guy

Felecia Guy

Modified & Updated: 06 Feb 2024

Source: Landmarkcenter.org

St. Paul, Minnesota, is a city steeped in history, culture, and stunning architectural landmarks. From the grandeur of the Cathedral of Saint Paul to the modern marvel of the Landmark Center, this city is a treasure trove for architecture enthusiasts. Each building tells a story of the city’s evolution, from its early days to the vibrant metropolis it is today. In this article, we’ll delve into 14 fascinating facts about the architectural landmarks that define St. Paul’s skyline. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a captivating journey through the rich architectural tapestry of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

The Cathedral of Saint Paul is a stunning architectural masterpiece.

The Cathedral of Saint Paul, located in the heart of the city, is an awe-inspiring structure that stands as a testament to the city’s rich architectural heritage. Designed by the notable architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, this magnificent building boasts a stunning dome that reaches a height of 306 feet, making it one of the largest domes in the world. The cathedral’s striking exterior and intricate interior details make it a must-see for visitors and locals alike.

The Landmark Center is a historic cultural center in St. Paul.

Originally built as the Federal Court House and Post Office, the Landmark Center now serves as a vibrant cultural hub in St. Paul. This architectural gem features a beautiful Richardsonian Romanesque-style design and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Landmark Center hosts a variety of events, including art exhibitions, musical performances, and cultural festivals, making it a focal point of the city’s artistic and historical landscape.

The James J. Hill House is an opulent Gilded Age mansion.

Built for railroad magnate James J. Hill in 1891, this stunning mansion is a prime example of Gilded Age architecture. The house features 36,000 square feet of living space, including 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, and a magnificent art gallery. Visitors can take guided tours to marvel at the opulent interiors, intricate woodwork, and lavish décor that showcase the grandeur of the era.

The Wabasha Street Caves hold a wealth of historical intrigue.

Beneath the bustling streets of St. Paul lie the mysterious Wabasha Street Caves, which have served as a speakeasy, nightclub, and mushroom farm throughout their storied history. These sandstone caves are steeped in tales of gangster escapades, Prohibition-era revelry, and clandestine activities. Guided tours offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past and the hidden world beneath its surface.

The Minnesota State Capitol is a majestic symbol of democracy.

Designed by renowned architect Cass Gilbert, the Minnesota State Capitol is a breathtaking architectural marvel that exudes grandeur and civic pride. The building’s magnificent dome, adorned with a golden quadriga sculpture, commands attention and symbolizes the state’s commitment to democracy. Visitors can explore the Capitol’s rich history, marvel at its stunning murals and sculptures, and take in panoramic views of St. Paul from the observation deck.

The Alexander Ramsey House is a meticulously preserved Victorian mansion.

Step back in time at the Alexander Ramsey House, a meticulously restored Victorian-era mansion that offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of one of Minnesota’s early political leaders. The house, filled with original furnishings and décor, showcases the elegant tastes and affluent living of the Ramsey family. Guided tours provide an immersive experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the Victorian era and gain insight into the state’s history.

The Fitzgerald Theater is a historic performing arts venue.

As the oldest active theater in St. Paul, the Fitzgerald Theater has been a beloved cultural institution for over a century. Originally known as the Schubert Theater, this iconic venue has hosted a diverse array of performances, from vaudeville acts to contemporary concerts. The theater’s ornate architecture and rich history make it a cherished landmark, drawing in audiences to enjoy a wide range of artistic productions and live performances.

The St. Paul Union Depot is a grand transportation hub.

Originally constructed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, the St. Paul Union Depot stands as a testament to the city’s historic role as a major transportation center. After undergoing extensive restoration, the depot now serves as a modern transit hub, connecting passengers to trains, buses, and the light rail system. The building’s grand façade, soaring vaulted ceilings, and expansive waiting room reflect its storied past and continued significance in St. Paul’s transportation network.

The Minnesota History Center is a captivating museum and research facility.

Located on Kellogg Boulevard, the Minnesota History Center offers a wealth of engaging exhibits, educational programs, and archival resources that delve into the state’s rich history. The center’s modern architectural design and interactive displays provide visitors with an immersive journey through Minnesota’s past, from its indigenous roots to contemporary developments. With a focus on storytelling and preserving cultural heritage, the History Center serves as a vital resource for understanding the diverse narratives that have shaped the state.

The Schmidt Brewery is a historic brewing complex with architectural charm.

Nestled in St. Paul’s West Seventh neighborhood, the Schmidt Brewery complex stands as a testament to the city’s brewing legacy and architectural heritage. The historic site, with its iconic clock tower and red-brick buildings, has been revitalized to house residential, commercial, and cultural spaces. The brewery’s rich history and adaptive reuse reflect the city’s commitment to preserving its industrial past while embracing new opportunities for community development.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald House celebrates the renowned author’s literary legacy.

Known as the childhood home of the acclaimed writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, this modest yet charming house in St. Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood offers a glimpse into the early years of the literary icon. The house, now a museum dedicated to Fitzgerald’s life and works, invites visitors to explore the author’s formative years and the inspirations behind his timeless literary contributions. Through guided tours and engaging exhibits, the house pays homage to Fitzgerald’s enduring impact on American literature and cultural history.

The Como Park Conservatory is a botanical oasis in the heart of St. Paul.

Nestled within the picturesque Como Park, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory enchants visitors with its stunning floral displays, lush gardens, and diverse plant collections. The conservatory’s historic glass domes and meticulously landscaped grounds provide a tranquil escape, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature throughout the changing seasons. From vibrant tropical gardens to serene Japanese bonsai, the conservatory offers a captivating horticultural experience for visitors of all ages.

The Science Museum of Minnesota is a dynamic center of scientific exploration.

With its striking modern architecture overlooking the Mississippi River, the Science Museum of Minnesota invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery and innovation. The museum’s interactive exhibits, immersive theaters, and engaging educational programs cater to curious minds of all ages, fostering a deeper understanding of science, technology, and natural history. As a prominent cultural institution in St. Paul, the museum continues to inspire and educate the community through its diverse array of scientific experiences and learning opportunities.

The Rice Park Historic District is a charming urban oasis with architectural allure.

Nestled in the heart of downtown St. Paul, the Rice Park Historic District captivates visitors with its elegant Victorian-era buildings, serene parkland, and vibrant cultural offerings. The district’s architectural diversity, from Romanesque Revival to Beaux-Arts styles, reflects the city’s rich heritage and urban development. The picturesque park, adorned with sculptures and lush greenery, serves as a welcoming gathering place for residents and visitors, offering a delightful blend of history, art, and natural beauty in the heart of the city.


St. Paul, Minnesota, is a city rich in architectural landmarks that reflect its history, culture, and innovation. From the stunning Cathedral of Saint Paul to the modern marvel of the Xcel Energy Center, these landmarks stand as testaments to the city’s enduring spirit and creativity. Visitors and locals alike can immerse themselves in the beauty and significance of these structures, gaining a deeper appreciation for St. Paul’s unique character. Exploring these landmarks offers a window into the city’s past and present, showcasing the intersection of tradition and progress. With its diverse array of architectural treasures, St. Paul continues to captivate and inspire all who encounter its remarkable landmarks.


What is the most iconic architectural landmark in St. Paul, Minnesota?
The Cathedral of Saint Paul is widely regarded as one of the most iconic architectural landmarks in the city, known for its stunning design and historical significance.

Are there guided tours available for exploring architectural landmarks in St. Paul?
Yes, there are various guided tours available, allowing visitors to delve into the rich architectural history of St. Paul and gain insights into the stories behind these landmarks.

Can visitors access the interiors of the architectural landmarks for exploration?
Many of the architectural landmarks in St. Paul offer guided interior tours, providing an opportunity to appreciate the intricate details and historical significance of these structures.

How can I learn more about the architectural landmarks in St. Paul?
Visitors can access detailed information about the architectural landmarks through visitor centers, online resources, and specialized tours, offering in-depth insights into their architectural and historical significance.

Are there any special events or festivals that celebrate the architectural heritage of St. Paul?
St. Paul hosts various events and festivals that celebrate its architectural heritage, providing opportunities for the community to come together and appreciate the city’s rich architectural legacy.