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Walking Tour of Downtown St Paul

Walking Tour of Downtown St Paul

August 21, 2005

Leader: Steve Erickson, Geological Society of Minnesota


Highlights:  This is a 90-minute tour of the building stones and architecture of downtown St. Paul, using the book “Rocky Roots” as the primary source book.  We will not cover all of St. Paul, but a short 1½-mile course from the Science Museum of Minnesota to Rice Park, Landmark Center and several other interesting buildings along St. Peter Street and Wabasha.  In this, we will discuss the geology of the building stones, architecture of the buildings and history of St. Paul and the State of Minnesota.  We will show many interesting features found in rocks and discuss how these are formed in geology.  Highlights will include some of the most spectacular examples of the Morton Gneiss, cleanly cut and polished.  We will see examples of the products from the Twin cities Brick Company that went into many of the buildings in St. Paul.  The old “brickyard:, now Lilydale Regional park, has been the site of several GSM fossil hunting field trips in the past.


When and How: We will check in at the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota between 11:45am and 12:15pm on Sunday, August 21, 2005.  We will have several leaders.  As soon as we assemble a group of about 20 people, we will send that group out with a leader to walk the tour.  We will send groups out at intervals of about 10 to 15 minutes, so it is not necessary to be in the lobby right at 11:45.


The Science Museum is located on Kellogg Boulevard across from the Excel Center.  Click here for a map.  You may park at the Science Museum Ramp but parking in St. Paul at most meters is usually free on Sundays.  Check the meter you stop at to be sure.


Preparation:  Come prepared for any type of weather or terrain.  Bring your own copy of “Rocky Roots” if you can find it.  Be prepared for moderately stressful hiking and bring adequate water.  There is a restroom at the Science Museum but few along the trip.  Children are welcome but may become bored, so judge your child’s interest and ability accordingly.  Recommend lunch after the walk at the Science Museum’s Elements Café, located on the third floor of the Science Museum.  This would be a great time and place to socialize with everyone in the Geological Society.


Cost:  Cost of the field trip for members is $5 per adult (18 and older).  Non-members pay an additional $5 fee.  A copy of “Rocky Roots” may be purchased for $5 if you can’t find your copy.