Osceola, Osceola


We were moving to Saint Paul after a year in Ireland, all ten of us packed into a tiny Fiat station wagon for the drive from New York to a big house on an even bigger hill set on Osceola Avenue.

“The Chug and Deubner Hill”


I grew up in the West End on Arbor Street, by the old Schmidt Brewery. One of our pastimes in the mid-fifties was building and racing “chugs,” which were homemade go-carts, made entirely of found parts—boards, bent nails we straightened with a hammer on the sidewalk, and of course the most cherished find, wheels big enough to use (many baby carriages were wheel-less that summer).

Reflections on Patricia Hampl’s “A Romantic Education”


I never saw the Schmidt Brewery that Patricia Hampl presents here, alive with its reverie-enhancing, rhythmic, red neon sign. But the first time I discovered the hulk of the brewery’s abandoned buildings sprawled out along West Seventh Street in the fall of 2004, I recognized immediately what I was looking at; its vacant structures flooded me with the memory of reading about that flashing sign in Hampl’s acclaimed 1981 memoir, A ­Romantic Education. Soon the Schmidt site will take on a different look as “developers” trick it out to new purposes—a welcome change.

Groundbreaking of Schmidt Brewery Artist Lofts


The City of Saint Paul has announced that the groundbreaking has begun on an exciting new near-Downtown Saint Paul affordable housing project, the Schmidt Brewery Artist Lofts. The historic Schmidt Brewery has featured in several editions of the Saint Paul Almanac. The $120 million project will redesign the historic Schmidt Brewery to specifically meet the needs of artists. Schmidt Brewery, built in the 1930s, will have 260 units after the full-scale renovations, including 121 units in the bottling house, 126 units in the brew house and 13 new construction townhouse units built on a vacant lot adjacent to the bottling house.