November 18, 2013
The Union Depot, the restored transportation hub and key Lowertown landmark, is featuring the 2014 Saint Paul Almanac in a display inside its entrance hall. The latest edition of the Almanac features artwork by many Lowertown artists including Ken and Roberta Avidor, Ta-coumba Aiken, Michael McColl, Chad Hambright, Sarah Marie Wash, Josh and Amy Hosterman, Patrick McCutchen, Tom Dunn, Serena Mira Asta, Frank Brown, Rachel Whacker, Alex Kuno, Shelley Rolhf, Kristi Abbott. Tom Reynen, Tom McGregor, Lisa Mathieson, Mike Hazard, and Nigel Parry.
February 5, 2013
I had a meeting with Kimberly Nightingale in Lowertown two weeks ago and, sure enough, we got invited to play around with a Hasbro toy from our youth. Ta-coumba Aiken is the talent behind the world’s largest (they are going for the world record) Lite-Brite sculpture planned for the Union Depot. I am told that the bright sculpture will measure 9 x 27 feet and illuminate some 570,000 tiny blue, green, pink and red transparent pegs.
October 14, 2012
My dad James Melvin Young Sr. became a second generation “Red Cap Porter” when his uncle William A. Young retired circa 1949. Melvin was 23 years old when the Saint Paul Union Depot at 214 Fourth Street in Lowertown was the gateway to the world. Working there was the spark that ignited a love for world travel for my dad. There were approximately thirty-six Red Cap Porters employed at the Depot, all African American. Their red caps became synonymous with integrity and reliability. Their work was demanding.
February 9, 2008
Welcome to the off-the-clock lives of artists in downtown Saint Paul. Thanks principally to the City of Saint Paul, the former Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation, ArtSpace, the Saint Paul Art Collective Housing Corporation, and local foundations, Lowertown—a district that by the early 1980s had lost most of its commerce and stood semi-abandoned and down on its luck—is thriving again.
February 6, 2008
If you were to stand here today, on an equally mild summer morning, as the maker of this 1925 photograph did, Union Depot would not look much different. It would be, of course: time changes not only the physical lives of buildings but their meaning and function.