Ramsey County History: Summer 2014: “The History of the Mississippi River Boulevard”
The History of the Mississippi River Boulevard
Author: Donald L. Empson
In 1872, the Saint Paul City Council decided to build public parks in the city, and soon, thereafter, hired landscape architect Horace W. S. Cleveland to prepare a plan for where this should be done. One park that Cleveland proposed the city build was along the Mississippi River from the bridge at Fort Snelling to the downtown. Other events and financial issues intervened, and the Saint Paul Park Board did not even survey the land that would become the Mississippi River Boulevard until 1887. Land acquisition and approval of plans took more time. The city finally built a roadway along the river in 1902, with work continuing to 1909. The growing use of automobiles and the construction of the Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant in the mid-1920s brought additional changes and improvements to the boulevard, which closely approximates today’s scenic roadway along the river.
PDF of Empson article