Rehab Restores Landmark, Builds on Track Record of Success

Property News

The historic stone and brick complex atop a bluff high above the Mississippi River has lived many lives—a Japanese language and intelligence school during WWII and a place for veterans to recover after that, it is now known by many as a pastoral park in which to exercise or spend a day with family and friends. For me, Fort Snelling is also a place I once spent many afternoons as a graduate architect in the 1970s, painstakingly making measured drawings of the historic Officers’ Quarters for the Minnesota Historical Society. 

Now, with the Twin Cities-based developer Dominium implementing a plan for rehabilitating the crumbling buildings into affordable housing for veterans and others, I rest easier, knowing that the history of this unique site will be preserved. I trust Dominium to do right by this landmark, under the oversight of local leaders, and not just because, as I should disclose, I have a contract with the company in my semi-retirement. Rather, I have chosen to work for Dominium because I’m a fan. While I was on the St. Paul City Council, I worked with it for four years to help bring about the neighborhood jewel known as Schmidt Artists’ Lofts. 

Preservation projects like that one have played a crucial role in the revitalization and continuing success of the West Seventh neighborhood. Irvine Park, the West Seventh Federation’s housing rehab, Historic St. Paul, Schmidt and our latest landmark, Keg and Case, have collectively raised property values in our community and offer us a source of pride, housing and jobs.

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