The Como Park Neighborhood of Saint Paul
At the beginning of its “modern” history, Como Park was settled as farmland in the mid 1800's. Como Lake was named in 1848 and was incorporated into the city of St. Paul in 1854. Real estate developer Henry McKenty believed the Como Park area would make a great resort, which lead to construction on Como Road beginning in 1868. Though McKenty's real estate visions never developed, Como Road still exists today as part of a major street running through the neighborhood, Como Avenue.
256 acres of land on the west side of Lake Como were bought by the City of St. Paul in 1873 because of its picturesque location. The electric street car was introduced to Lake Como in 1893, allowing Saint Paul residents to make the 3-mile trip to Como Lake Park in 30 minutes. In 1897, the Como Zoo was built. The Como Lakeside Pavilion was constructed from 1905 to 1906. Then the Como Park Conservatory was built in 1915. These historic structures are still the centerpieces of the neighborhood’s recreational venues.
In fact, Como Park is the most widely used park in the Twin Cities area. Admittance to the Como Park Zoo is free to visitors. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, formerly the Como Park Conservatory, is the largest indoor, glass garden in the region. The Como Lakeside Pavilion provides live entertainment on a weekly basis throughout the summer months. Inside the Pavilion, one will find Black Bear Crossings, which serves sandwiches, desserts, coffee, and other café fare. The park also includes miles of biking, walking and running trails.
It’s important to note for fans of the Great Minnesota Get-Together that the State Fair Grounds border Como Park on the west. The Minnesota State Fair takes place every year in August, of course. Additionally, the fair grounds are used throughout the year for technology fairs, antique sales, car shows, horse shows, and more.
Life in Como Park offers access to public schools in Saint Paul. Chelsea Heights and Como Elementary are neighborhood elementary schools. Como Junior and Senior High are also within the Como Park area.
There are many Como Park homes, townhomes, and condos from which potential home buyers may choose. Though homes are not built on the lake, many of them have great views of the lake. Approximately one-third of the homes in Como Park were built after World War II. Thought there are some 19th century Victorian’s here, craftsman bungalows and ramblers are popular throughout the neighborhood. There are also some newly constructed homes within the Como Park neighborhood.
The median home price of the area is a little above the Saint Paul real estate average. This is because homes next to the Como Park have appreciated in value significantly over the last few years. The median sales price of a single family home, townhome, or condos in Como Park during 2005 was $218,000. Recently, it was reported that the average price of a home sold in Como Park during August of 2008 was $245,880. For the year to date, homes have been selling Como Park for an average price of $209,289. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a nice single family home a few blocks from Como Park for under $200,000.
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