BEST ARCHITECTUAL TIME CAPSULE - 2007
St. Paul Union Depot
Before Minneapolis became the big-time cow town we all know and love today, there was St. Paul: the final glittering cosmopolitan outpost on the edge of a northern wilderness. For proof, we offer the Union Depot. Completed in 1923 and designed by then-hotshot architect Charles Frost (who designed many of Lowertown's lovelies), the Depot is a soaring example of space, time, and old-world glamour. St. Paul was a railroad town in the 1920s, and the Depot, reminiscent of Grand Central Station with its huge foyer, was a shining crown. The inside is adorned with inlaid ceilings, Doric columns, massive iron chandeliers, and enough Tennessee marble to trump Trump Tower. Long abandoned by everyone but the U.S. Postal Service and a Greek restaurant, the Depot is prime for redevelopment. The condos are coming, but the gorgeous wistfulness of St. Paul's heyday will still be, gloriously, intact.