Tag Archives: sculpture

Como Park’s East & West Gates

Como Park East GateThe gates at the east and west entrances to St. Paul’s Como Park are real live examples of recycling and second chances.

East Gates
The east gates are located at East Como Blvd. and Gateway Dr., southeast of the lake. The gates were erected in 1933 using Kasota limestone reclaimed from the second Ramsey County Courthouse, which was built in 1895 and replaced in the 1930s by the current courthouse building. The reused stone included the courthouse’s cornerstone.

Edward Bassford designed the 1885 courthouse and his son, Charles Bassford, designed the gates. As city architect, Charles Bassford also designed the Como Zoological building.

Midway GateWest Gates
The west gates at Hamline Avenue and Midway originally came from the sprawling estate of wealthy businessman Oliver Crosby. He built a mansion, greenhouses and elaborate gardens—all known as Stonebridge—that overlooked the Mississippi River in St. Paul. After Crosby died in 1922 his will was contested and the estate eventually had to be sold off piece by piece.

In 1936, E. E. Englebert bought two lots of the former estate on Mississippi River Boulevard which included the original massive brick and ornamental iron entrance gate to the mansion. He donated the gate to Como Park and in 1937 the Works Progress Administration had it reinstalled as the west gate to Como Park at the intersection of Hamline Avenue and Midway.

Another survivor of Stonebridge also relocated to Como Park, the namesake of the Frog Pond, the sculpture of a granite bullfrog.

Horton & Hamline Gate
There’s another potential gate to Como Park, a lone stone pillar standing at the corner of Horton and Hamline Avenues. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across anything about the history or origins of this pillar.