LivingTravelBarrio de St. Paul's Merriam Park

Barrio de St. Paul's Merriam Park

Merriam Park is an attractive old neighborhood on the west side of St. Paul, Minnesota. It is bordered by the Mississippi River to the west, University Avenue to the north, Lexington Parkway to the east, and Summit Avenue to the south.


Merriam Park is roughly between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul. Entrepreneur John L. Merriam thought the location would be an ideal suburb for businessmen, professional workers, and their families. New streetcar lines were running through the neighborhood, and a rail line linked the two lower areas in 1880, which also ran through the area. Merriam bought land, built a rail depot in her future neighborhood, and began selling lots to future owners.


Merriam stipulated that houses built on the lots cost at least $ 1,500, a sum that a grand house built in the 1880s. Most of the houses are Queen Anne-style wood frame structures. Many have been neglected But Merriam Park still has some of the highest concentrations of late 19th century housing in the Twin Cities. The oldest parts of Merriam Park are around Fairview Avenue, between Interstate 94 (the route of the old railroad line) and Selby Avenue.

In the 1920s, multi-family homes were built in the area in response to the demand for housing, replacing old worn-out houses. Studios and small apartments are widely available.


Since the neighborhood’s earliest days, Merriam Park has attracted professional families. Still just as convenient for both urban centers, now the railroad has been replaced by I-94.

Students from nearby universities, Macalester College, the University of St. Thomas, and St. Catherine’s College, occupy apartments, studios, and duplexes.

Parks, recreation and golf courses

The Town and Country Club, on the banks of the Mississippi, was developed in the days of John Merriam and is a private golf club.

The Merriam Park Recreation Center has playgrounds and athletic fields and is open to all.

Merriam Park is adjacent to a particularly beautiful part of the Mississippi River. The bike and walking trails along the riverside are popular for walking, running, and biking. Strolling down Summit Avenue is another pleasant stroll on a summer afternoon.

Local business

Snelling Avenue, Selby Avenue, Cleveland Avenue, and Marshall Avenue are the main shopping streets. Both Cleveland Avenue and Snelling Avenue are home to a mix of coffee shops, coffee shops, clothing stores, and several useful local retailers.

Marshall Avenue has a couple of interesting retailers. At the intersection of Marshall Avenue and Cleveland Avenue is a group of independent businesses. Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store, A Fine Grind Coffee Shop, Izzy’s Ice Cream, and Trotter’s Cafe are here.

A few blocks west on Marshall Avenue are a couple of oddly overlapping stores: The Wicker Shop, a 1970s furniture repair and retail store, and a gluten-free bakery called Cooqi.

A collection of antiques, collectibles and vintage stores are found on Selby Avenue in the “Mall of St. Paul.” The Missouri Mouse, an antique mall in its own right, and Peter’s Oldies But Goodies furniture store are popular shops here. A pub that prides itself on its burgers, The Blue Door, is here too, nestled amongst the antique shops.

At the intersection of Snelling Avenue and Selby Avenue there are three vintage clothing stores, Up Six Vintage, Lula and Go Vintage.

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