The Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood of Saint Paul

Dayton's Bluff neighborhood can be located on the east side of the Mississippi in the southeast portion of St. Paul, Minnesota.  The northern border of Dayton’s Bluff 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 is home to some of the deepest history of any Twin Cities’ neighborhood or community.  The history of this 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 part of Dayton's Bluff, a series of seven large aboriginal burial mounds remain in Indian Mounds Park. They overlook the Mississippi River and the center of the city. This popular park features walking paths, playgrounds, and a picnic area. 

In 1857, a well-known land and railroad speculator from Vermont named Lyman Dayton platted an addition to the City of St. Paul on its Eastern border.  Though the area was separated from the early settlement along the river by a ravine, this inaccessibility didn’t deter Mr. Dayton.  In fact, a handful of other businessmen followed his lead, building large and costly homes on the bluff. The area has since been referred to as Dayton’ Bluff, named after the man who built the first large home here. A little further to the south beyond present day I-94, residential development oriented towards the views of the river was also occurring. These early settlers had an outstanding view of the city’s growth.

Located on the east side of St. Paul, Dayton's Bluff real estate contains an unusually high concentration of 19th century homes. In the early 1800's, Dayton's Bluff was one of St. Paul's first affluent suburbs. The evidence of this can be seen in the many Victorian, Italianate and Queen Anne architecture styles. In general, most of the homes in Dayton’s Bluff were built in the 1950s and before.  Because of the neighborhood’s rich and varied history, each block seems to have a great variety of housing styles and types.  The house prices in this neighborhood reasonable against the soaring prices of other communities. 

There is plenty of property available within the neighborhood of Dayton's Bluff. Mostly, the real estate consists of single family homes, but there are multi family dwellings as well. The houses in this neighborhood are set back from the street in a uniform manner and most homes have a small yard in front.  In many places, the steep slopes require retaining walls.  Some beautiful older walls are built of limestone or brick.

Dayton's Bluff homes have been undergoing restorations and renovations in years passed. Many of the original homes of the area are still standing and have been in existence for well over 100 years. The current trends toward revitalizing Dayton's Bluff focus on the fine older buildings that stand as a record of the neighborhood'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.  This designation is an important aspect of neighborhood revitalization in 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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