|Development of Dayton's Bluff began early in the history of Saint
Paul due to its proximity to the downtown. The area is named after Lyman
Dayton an early pioneer real estate developer who owned extensive properties
in the area beginning in the 1850s.
Probably the most striking feature of Dayton's Bluff to a 19th century visitor was its dramatic terracing of partially wooded hills overlooking Lowertown. Landbrokers and newspaper journalists praised Dayton's Bluff as the most desirable residential location in the city.
When street cars began to run across the great granite bridge into the downtown in the late 1880s, Seventh Street became an arterial and new development began to spring up along the streetcar line. Industries locating here at the time provided a work center for many residents. Among such businesses were the Theodore Hamm Brewing Company and Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M).
Steady growth on the bluff between the 1880s and the 1920s created a diversity of styles, prices, and locations that fit the needs, tastes, and budgets of a variety of urban dwellers. During the first quarter of the 20th century the area prospered. By the 1930s, families establishing their homes in Dayton's Bluff were a moderate and middle income mixture of both blue and white collar workers. However, the great depression hit the area hard. Many people lost their jobs, local stores lost revenues, and people who owned mansions could no longer afford the upkeep and moved away.
Despite some of the changes inevitable in the urban environment over time, the heart of the neighborhood remains intact. Sometimes hidden under "home improvements," the character of its homes and storefronts remain, providing the essential building blocks of a historically and architecturally rich environment. Although much of the scenic variety has been modified, the view from the bluff remains spectacular.
Because of these assets Dayton's Bluff is now experiencing a renaissance. Private investment has provided not only many renovated homes, but also enthusiastic homeowners determined to make Dayton's Bluff a premier place to live.
The following driving tour of Dayton's Bluff provides a guide to some of the area's most important sites. Each site of interest is followed by a brief description which provides architectural and/or historical information about the property.
We hope you enjoy your tour of our architectural past and join in our vision for the future.