Saint Paul's Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Highlights
Dayton's Bluff is a neighborhood located on the east side of the Mississippi in the southeast part of the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The northern border of the neighborhood is Grove Street and the Burlington Northern Railroad. The southern border is Warner Road. To the west is Lafayette Road and Highway 3, and to the east is Highway 61. Dayton’s Bluff contains one of the widest varieties of history of any Twin Cities’ neighborhood.
The history of the area goes back over 1,000 years when the Hopewell Native Americans used the area as a sacred burial ground. On the edge of the southern and highest part of Dayton's Bluff today, a series of seven large aboriginal burial mounds remain in Indian Mounds Park, overlooking the Mississippi River and the central part of the city. The park features walking paths, playgrounds and a picnic area.
In 1857, Lyman Dayton, a well-known land and railroad speculator from Vermont, platted an "addition to St. Paul" on the Eastern border of the city. The area was separated from the early settlement along the river by a ravine, but this inaccessibility did not deter Dayton. A handful of other businessmen also built large and costly houses in the area. Farther to the south, beyond present day I-94 in the Mounds Park area, river-oriented residential development was also occurring. The earliest settlers had a spectacular view of the growth of the city at the Lower Levee and along E. Seventh Street. The area has since been referred to as Dayton’ Bluff, named after the man who built the first large home here.
Located on the east side of St. Paul, Dayton's Bluff has a particularly high concentration of 19th century homes within its boarders. In the early 1800's, Dayton's Bluff was one of St. Paul's first affluent suburbs, as is evidenced by the many Victorian, Italianate and Queen Anne styles of architecture. Overall, most of the homes in Dayton’s Bluff were built in the 50s and before. Because of the deep and varied history, each block tends to have a great variety of housing styles and types. It is not uncommon to find a large three-story mansion anchoring a block with a collection of simple one- and two-story houses. The house prices in this neighborhood reasonable against the soaring prices of other communities. There is plenty of Dayton's Bluff real estate available. Primarily the properties are single family homes, but there are multi family dwellings that house a few families each as well. Homes are setback from the street in a quite uniform manner and most houses have a small yard at the front. The steep slopes have required the construction of a variety of many retaining walls. Some handsome older walls are built of limestone or brick.
Dayton's Bluff homes have been undergoing renovations and restorations in past years. Many of the original homes still stand and have celebrated their one-hundredth year of existence. The current interest in the revitalization of Dayton's Bluff focuses largely on the fine older buildings which are the record of the area's long history. The Dayton's Bluff Historic District was approved by the St. Paul City Council in August, 1992. The creation of the Historic District recognizes the historical and architectural significance of this early St. Paul neighborhood and is an important part of neighborhood revitalization in St. Paul's Dayton’s Bluff. Exterior alterations, new construction, and demolition of buildings within the Historic District boundaries are reviewed by the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission according to strict guidelines. A handbook intended for Dayton’s Bluff residents and potential residents which explains the criteria can be sent to you by calling 651-772-2075. The Dayton's Bluff Community Council and The East Side Neighborhood Development Company are active in the area's revitalization. The Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Housing Service assists buyers financially with purchasing a home in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.
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