Trip Planner:   USA  /  Minnesota  /  Saint Paul  /  Landmark Center

Landmark Center, Saint Paul

4.5
#5 of 9 in Historic Sites in Saint Paul
St. Paul's historic Landmark Center, completed in 1902, originally served as the United States Post Office, Courthouse, and Custom House for the state of Minnesota. It was designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, who served as Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department in 1891–92. Edbrooke designed a body of public architecture, much of which, like this structure, was completed after his 1896 death. Landmark Center stands at 75 West Fifth Street in Rice Park and is now an arts and culture center.


The exterior is pink granite ashlar with a hipped red tile roof, steeply pitched to shed snow and adorned by numerous turrets, gables and dormers with steeply peaked roofs; cylindrical corner towers with conical turrets occupy almost every change of projection. There are two massive towers, one of which houses a clock. The exterior is almost devoid of carved detail. The interior features a five-story courtyard with skylight and rooms with 20-foot ceilings, appointed with marble and carved mahogany and oak finishes. Its Romanesque Revival architecture is similar to Edbrooke's Old Post Office Building in Washington D.C.


John Dillinger's girlfriend Evelyn Frechette, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis, "Doc" Barker and other members of the Barker-Karpis gang were tried in the building when it served as a federal courthouse.
Judges Walter Henry Sanborn and John B. Sanborn, Jr. kept their chambers here while serving on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun worked in the building as a law clerk to the younger Sanborn in 1932–33.


In the 1970s, a citizens' group saved the building from demolition and restored it to its previous grandeur. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and reopened to the public as Landmark Center in 1978.


After its comprehensive 1972–78 renovation, the center became home to many prominent Twin Cities arts organizations, now including:


American Association of Woodturners and the AAW Gallery of Wood Art

Ramsey County Historical Society Gallery and Research Center – changing exhibits and research area for local history topics

The Schubert Club Museum of musical instruments

Landmark Gallery – permanent and temporary exhibits from its local history collection

"Uncle Sam Worked Here" – a permanent interactive exhibit opened in 2007 about activities in Landmark Center over its history [1]

Exhibition space for music, dance, theater, and public forums.For a time the high school St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists also held classes on the fifth floor. It has since moved to 16 West 5th Street. The fifth floor now houses the offices of the American Composers Forum.


Owned by Ramsey County, Landmark Center is managed by Minnesota Landmarks, a not-for-profit organization. Landmark Center also houses Anita's Cafe, Landmarket Gift Shop, and five galleries.
For Landmark Center and beyond, use our Saint Paul sightseeing planner to get the most from your Saint Paul vacation.
Source
Create an itinerary including Landmark Center
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Landmark Center Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
153 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We were spending a morning exploring St Paul on foot when we came across this striking building and discovered that it was open to the public, allowing us to have a good snoop around. It's a...  more »
  • I was visiting St Paul from the Boston area and decided to tour the Landmark Center because it was within walking distance of my hotel. They offer a guided tour on Thursdays, when I happened to be...  more »
Google
  • Wandered inside and found a free narrated tour that had just started. Fascinating history, never knew anything about this building before. Never knew about all of the famous gangster trials held there. Architecture is stunning. The marble and woodwork that has been unearthed and restored is amazing.
  • There is a lot of history to immerse yourself in at this free "living museum"! The restoration of this beautiful building is chronicled very well as are notable and notorious stories of personalities and events that have taken place in and around this landmark in the city of St Paul. There are four retired courtrooms that must be seen. You can catch views of the city from windows in a number of little alcoves. It is a functioning landmark with private offices throughout. There's a little cafe on the first floor that faces Rice Park offering an average menu. There is a 6 story central grand space with impressive columns under a huge central skylight. Depending on how much history you want to absorb (read about John Dillenger and other notables on both sides of the law, etc.) you could spend a few hours here.

Plan your trip to Saint Paul

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Side trips from Saint Paul

4.9
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.7
Duration:2 h
4.9
Duration:2 h

Hidden gems in Saint Paul

4.9
Duration:2 h
4.5
Duration:2 h
4.7
Duration:2 h
4.7
Duration:2 h

Museums in Saint Paul

4.7
Duration:2 h
4.7
Duration:2 h

Kid-friendly things to do in Saint Paul

4.1
Duration:4 h
4.6
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.6
Duration:30 min
4.3
Duration:2 h 30 min

Nearby attractions in Saint Paul

4.6
Duration:2 h
4.8
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.8
Duration:2 h 30 min
4.7
Duration:2 h

Plans to Landmark Center by other users

60 days in Minneapolis BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Minneapolis BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 46 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 37 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in The Minneapolis-Saunt Paul Area BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
See more plans