National Trust for Historic Preservation Selects Saint Paul, Minnesota, as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2011
Public Encouraged to Vote for Fan Favorite Destination
Posted February 14, 2011 | Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-588-6141
Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2011)—Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Saint Paul, Minnesota, one of its 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Saint Paul, nominated by Historic Saint Paul and Minnesota Landmarks, was selected for its thriving historic commercial districts, its stately collection of Victorian mansions, an up-and-coming warehouse district, and its many festivals celebrating the city’s diverse cultural heritage. From February 15 to March 15, Saint Paul will be participating in a public online voting contest to select the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations Fan Favorite.
For 12 years the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across America that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from those found at the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and a commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.
“From F. Scott Fitzgerald to Garrison Keillor to Jonathan Franzen, author of last year’s best-selling novel ‘Freedom,’ St. Paul’s storied historic places have inspired some of our nation’s greatest writers,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Visitors to Minnesota’s capital have a vast array of options, from browsing the quaint boutiques of Grand Avenue, to enjoying a meal in the restored warehouse area downtown, to admiring the stately mansions of Summit Avenue. This distinctive destination truly has something for everyone.”
Home to seven historic districts as well as some of Minnesota’s most famous historic buildings—including the Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home and the stunning Beaux-Arts Cathedral of Saint Paul—the city boasts 104 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over the past quarter-century, the community has rallied to revitalize several of St. Paul’s commercial and residential hubs, including Cathedral Hill, Rice Park and Lowertown. The downtown area, nestled along the Mississippi River, features stunning views of the historic riverfront.
The Lowertown area, a poster child for the transformative power of preservation, was once home to abandoned former commercial buildings. Today, the area hums with activity thanks to an influx of coffee shops, artist lofts, a destination farmers’ market, and some of the Twin Cities’ premiere cutting-edge, locally sourced restaurants. The refurbished Union Depot train station is slated to open in the next few years, providing visitors even easier access to Lowertown.
The city’s diverse cultural heritage is celebrated nearly year round, thanks to series of festivals that include Hmong New Year, Rondo Days (named for an African-American neighborhood largely lost to freeway construction in the 1950s), Cinco de Mayo and the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the upper Midwest. Hearty visitors to St. Paul in the cold-weather months won’t want to miss the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, a nationally known homage to outdoor winter activities featuring ice sculptures, a parade, and ice castles stretching several stories into the air!
- Summit Avenue, the longest preserved street of Gilded Age Victorian mansions in the United States.
- The Saint Paul Winter Carnival, which takes place annually in January and February.
- The Saint Paul Hotel, a landmark hotel located downtown that is a member of the Historic Hotels of America program.
- Downtown Saint Paul features a number of museums and historic attractions. The beautifully restored Landmark Center is home to the Schubert Museum and the Gallery of Wood Art. Other downtown museums include the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Childrens’ Museum.
- The Wabasha Street Caves, where gangsters like John Dillinger and Alvin Karpis once caroused.
- Paddle wheeler boat rides along what is the longest stretch of riverfront of any city on the Mississippi River.
The public is invited to vote online to help determine which of the 12 destinations will be the 2011 Fan Favorite. From February 15 to March 15, any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote once per day for his or her favorite city or town on this year’s list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 16, 2011. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America. No purchase necessary. Offer void where prohibited. Visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd for official rules, information about Historic Hotels of America, to learn more about this year’s destinations, and to begin voting!
To download high resolution images and video of this year’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, visit www.PreservationNation.org/press.
The 2011 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:
Alexandria, Va. – Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country – and not just because it was home to the nation’s founding father, George Washington. An extraordinary blend of early America and modern chic, the city offers an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, historic sites, dining and shopping.
Chapel Hill, N.C. – From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and its bustling downtown area, Chapel Hill certainly lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven.’
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of this vibrant, historic town.
Dandridge, Tenn. – With its idyllic natural setting in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a welcoming small town spirit and a charming historic downtown, Dandridge epitomizes the quintessential Southern Appalachian town.
Eureka, Calif. – Located on the Northern California coast, Eureka is a beautifully preserved Victorian seaport that features a lively Old Town, the Carson Mansion - one of the most photographed homes in America - and nearby forests of majestic old growth redwoods.
Muskogee, Okla. – Once the unofficial capital of Indian Territory, Muskogee’s storied past and Native American, African American and Euro American influences are well-preserved and the vibrant town has many unique festivals, museums, restaurants and more.
New Bedford, Mass. – Once one of the world’s largest whaling ports, New Bedford is awash in maritime history, as well as scenic beaches, abundant architectural and historical riches, diverse neighborhoods and a burgeoning arts community.
Paducah, Ky. – The heart of Kentucky’s Four Rivers region, visitors to Paducah will find thriving historic districts filled with turn of the century architecture and one-of-a-kind shops and eateries as well as a community that creatively celebrates its cultural and artistic heritage.
San Angelo, Texas – A frontier city with a rich past, San Angelo offers visitors an authentic Old West experience, a bustling downtown historic district and vibrant cultural offerings.
Saint Paul, Minn. – Known for some of Minnesota’s most famous historic buildings—including the Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol and the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald—visitors to St. Paul can browse the quaint shops of Grand Avenue, dine in the strikingly restored warehouse district, or be awed by the stately mansions along Summit Avenue.
Sheridan, Wyo. – Set in “the shadow of the Big Horns,” Sheridan offers a vibrant Main Street commercial district, abundant recreational opportunities, and an authentic Western experience.
Sonoma, Calif. – Dating back to the early 19th and set amidst winding country roads and family-owned vineyards, Sonoma offers all the perks of being in the heart of wine country, with the added benefit of a laid back vibe that complements the award-winning wine and food.
2011 marks the twelfth announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations annual list. To date, there are 144 Distinctive Destinations located in 46 states throughout the country. To see a complete list and to vote for the 2011 Fan Favorite Destination, visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd. The title of Distinctive Destination is presented to cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town’s character and sense of place.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.