Abandoned Buildings in St. Paul

I’ve always had an obsession with abandoned buildings. Lately I’ve come across a number of them in St. Paul along or near the Mississippi River that seem to be failed condo projects.

Head House Grain ElevatorThere’s the six-story Head House Grain Elevator that’s sandwiched between the river and a row of swanky new condos and apartments. It’s falling apart and plans to turn it into a restaurant or something haven’t happened yet. Meanwhile it’s looking more and more out of place and dangerous surrounded by all the newly finished construction and a split pedestrian/bike path right next to it.

There’s the former Island Station Power Plant that was supposed to become its own swanky riverfront condo but still sits as an empty shell of a decommissioned power plant. (I haven’t taken pictures of it, but you can check out this entire set of photos.)

Lowertown DepotAnd there’s the Lowertown Depot (pictured here), which was slated to become an earth-friendly condo and sustainable community. It’s still sitting there empty without even a fence dividing it from the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. (And I can’t seem to find any history on the Lowertown Depot–speak up and share if you know some.)

That’s a lot of buildings with some grand plans that are going nowhere. I love the grand plans, but they need to go somewhere. I guess all the projects can’t be the Mill City Museum (they didn’t even need a roof to make their abandoned building usable). Some day I’d love to the be the man with the grand plans and the money to back it up. Monkey Outta Nowhere could use a cool headquarters. But I don’t see that day coming any time soon (plus I don’t make a very good real estate tycoon).

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