Saint Paul, Minnesota is noted for its neighborhoods. The city has been called “fifteen small towns with one mayor”, owing to the neighborhood-based life of much of the city. Saint Paul is partially governed by not fifteen but seventeen City Districts. Some City District boundaries overlap well-recognized neighborhoods.
On Saint Paul’s largely blue-collar East Side alone there are more than two dozen well-known, historically significant neighborhoods lumped together under the banner of four City Districts. District 4, for example has three historic neighborhoods: Dayton’s Bluff, Swede Hollow, and Mounds Park. Districts 5 and 2, the most populous City Districts, have more than a dozen neighborhoods between them.
While Saint Paul has long been recognized for its citizen activism, some neighborhoods receive more individual planning attention than others, because tax funds are doled out to annually elected volunteer neighborhood boards based on City District boundaries, not neighborhood boundaries. These boards are collectively called District Councils.
The District Council system was established in 1975 to encourage grass-roots involvement. The Councils were also created to help spend federal funds through the recently created Community Development Block Grants. The District Councils share $1.2 million dollars from the city of Saint Paul. Money given to the District Councils ranges from $41,000 to $102,000. The councils also have other revenue streams such as grants and donations. Most councils have significant power on land use issues.
A neighborhood on the southeast side of the city, overlooking the Mississippi River and Downtown Saint Paul. Traditionally a bedroom community for 3M.
Greater East Side
The Greater East Side is among the city’s largest and most populous city districts — a grouping of largely middle-class areas, among them the Hillcrest, Hazel Park, Hayden Heights, Ames Lake, and Phalen Village neighborhoods — which bordered on (and traditionally supplied much of the workforce for) two company headquarters: the neighboring 3M Corporation, which has moved its corporate headquarters from St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood to the neighboring suburb of Maplewood, and Whirlpool Corporation, which has entirely left St. Paul.
The “West Side”  neighborhood is actually in the eastern half of the city, to the south and across the Mississippi River from Downtown Saint Paul. It is called the West Side because it is on the west bank of the predominantly north-south river, adjacent to the suburban cities of South St. Paul and West St. Paul. The West Side is home to the largest Hispanic community in the Twin Cities, centered along César Chávez Boulevard.
Dayton’s Bluff  is a neighborhood on the east side of the Mississippi in the southeast part of Saint Paul. It has a residential district on an elevated plateau bounded by the ridges of the Mississippi River Valley. The name of Dayton’s Bluff commemorates Lyman Dayton (1810–1865), for whom a village and a township in Hennepin County also were named. The area of the neighborhood that had views of the river valley and Downtown Saint Paul was purchased as early as the 1850s, with most of the houses being built in the 1880s. On the edge of the southern and highest part of Dayton’s Bluff along the Mississippi River is the Indian Mounds Park. Within the park are six remaining burial mounds from the prehistoric era of the Hopewell moundbuilders. Dayton’s Bluff has undergone much renovation and restoration in recent years.
The Payne-Phalen  city district includes the Railroad Island, Phalen Park, Rivoli Bluff, Vento, Wheelock Park, and Williams Hill neighborhoods, and ranges from a blue-collar area to the south to a middle-class area north of Maryland Avenue, including upscale real estate around Lake Phalen.
The North End  is a blue-collar neighborhood built around the Rice Street corridor, a long, straight street that has many fast-food restaurants, bars and clubs. In the past, this neighborhood also housed junkyards and auto-wrecking lots. The state capitol building is at the southern edge of the neighborhood, between Cedar and Rice Streets on University Avenue.
Built around University Avenue, Thomas-Dale is colloquially known as Frogtown. Historically, Frogtown was a section of the current Thomas-Dale neighborhood bordered by University Avenue on the south, Van Buren Avenue on the north, Dale Street on the west and Western Avenue on the east.
“Summit-U” is an ethnically and economically diverse community . Among the many groups living in Summit-University are the Hmong community as well as the city’s other Asian communities, of whom Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians are represented in large numbers. Summit-University also includes the historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood, as well as what remains of “old Rondo” – a former neighborhood of the city. Rondo was the center of Saint Paul’s African-American community since the Civil War, but was nearly obliterated by the construction of Interstate 94 in the 1960s . Famous Summit-University natives include baseball great Dave Winfield. Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in this neighborhood, although he is generally associated with the Summit Hill neighborhood where he later lived. Neighborhood website
West Seventh Street in St. Paul is also known as Fort Road, owing to its location on historic Native American and fur trader paths along the northern bank of the Mississippi River from downtown Saint Paul to Fort Snelling. This area is colloquially known as the “West End”, and is different from the area across the river known as the “West Side”. The West Seventh neighborhood was originally a series of European immigrant neighborhoods along the western bluffs of the Mississippi River, spanning the entire length of West Seventh St. or “Old Fort Rd.” During the 1880s large populations of Irish, German, Czech, Slovak and (to a lesser degree) Scandinavian immigrants moved to the West End.
“Saint Paul has a rich history of active and distinct neighborhoods. To support neighborhood participation in governance, the district council planning process was created over 30 years ago.”  There are 17 district councils, and the district council of the West End is the Fort Road Federation/District 9 Community Council. “Responsibilities of the councils include: planning and advising on the physical, economic, and social development of their areas; identifying needs; initiating community programs; recruiting volunteers; and sponsoring community events.” The Federation actually predates the District Council system in St. Paul. “…in 1973, a group of about a dozen community members banded together to create the West 7th/Fort Road Federation. They founded the organization on the principle that citizens acting together could maintain and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods and help commercial endeavors prosper once again. With a $5,000 start-up grant from the Christian Sharing Fund, the young organization headed down a path of community development and support that would continue for many years to come.”
Today, several organizations and task forces serve the neighborhoods that make up the West End. Task forces of the Federation include West End Gardeners as well as the North High Bridge Park Task Forces; the West Seventh Business Association and its Enhancement coalition; the Irvine Park Historic District and Association; Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota in its historic hall on the national historic register; and the West 7th Community Center.
Como Park is a neighborhood situated around Lake Como. The Como Park neighborhood has many recreational facilities, including a golf course, bike path, various open fields, a pavilion, a municipal pool, and the Como Zoo, one of two zoos in the Twin Cities (the other being the Minnesota Zoo). The Como area is also home to many of the city’s ginkgo trees. There are several schools in Como Park, the public schools in the area being Chelsea Heights Elementary School and the Como Park Elementary School, the only school in the city to have its own planetarium. The primary secondary school in Como Park is Como Park Senior High School, one of the highest rated schools in the state according to Newsweek.
Midway  is a neighborhood which derives its name from being midway between the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The Midway neighborhood includes the Twin Cities only passenger rail terminal Midway (Amtrak station), Hamline University, as well as “Midway Center”, one of inner-city Saint Paul’s key shopping districts. Famous Midway natives include Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz and the band Heiruspecs. 
Saint Anthony Park
Saint Anthony Park  is adjacent to the University of Minnesota Saint Paul campus, bordering Southeast Minneapolis on the west and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on the east. It was the home to three Minnesota governors (William Marshall, 1866–70; Andrew McGill, 1887–1889; and Elmer L. Andersen, 1961–63). The area was originally set out as estates for the wealthy of Minneapolis in the late 1800s. It is centrally located in the Twin Cities, with a business district that contains independently owned shops and restaurants. A Carnegie Library, and the St. Anthony Park Elementary School are the focal points of the neighborhood. St. Anthony Park, known to residents as SAP, is home to two colleges, the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and the Luther Seminary, and thus home to graduate students from across the world. The largest area park is named for former St. Anthony Park resident Nathaniel P. Langford, who was responsible for the world’s first national park (Yellowstone).
Union Park , created from the merger between former Merriam Park, Snelling Hamline, and Lexington-Hamline District Councils, is a residential neighborhood featuring a large stock of early 20th-century housing, boutique-dominated commercial strips on Selby, Cretin and Cleveland avenues, and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area forming the neighborhood’s western border. Many residents of Union Park still identify their neighborhoods with the original names. Concordia University and part of University of St. Thomas are located in the district.
Macalester-Groveland  is the neighborhood surrounding two post-secondary institutions, Macalester College and the University of Saint Thomas. The neighborhood’s western border is formed by the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a public park with walking and biking paths atop the 100-foot (30 m)-tall bluffs along the bank of the Mississippi River.
Highland Park  is home to Saint Catherine University as well as two private preparatory schools, Cretin-Derham Hall High School and St. Paul Academy and Summit School . For eighty five years the neighborhood hosted the Ford Motor Company Twin Cities Assembly Plant where Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks were produced. Ford closed the plant in 2011 and what will become of the ¼ square mile of prime real estate along the Mississippi is yet to be decided.
Summit Hill and Crocus Hill
The Summit Hill neighborhood  is roughly centered around the section of Summit Avenue between Dale Street and John Ireland Boulevard. “Crocus Hill” is the neighborhood adjacent to Summit Hill, and is bounded on the north by Summit Avenue and on the east by “Grand Hill”, the hill formed by Grand Avenue as it descends towards downtown Saint Paul. The other two boundaries are St. Clair Avenue to the south, and Lexington Avenue to the west. These neighborhoods were the traditional home of the city’s Robber Barons.
Summit Avenue was originally conceived as a broad, Gilded Age showcase street, and is lined with the mansions named after notable Saint Paul figures, such as railroad tycoon James J. Hill. With its vistas of downtown and the Mississippi River, Summit Avenue is thought to be one of the longest stretches of preserved Victorian mansions in North America. It has been home to artists such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, Sinclair Lewis, August Wilson, and currently Garrison Keillor. More notorious residents have included 1930s-era gangsters such as John Dillinger and members of the Barker-Karpis Gang.
Downtown Saint Paul is the 17th District Council (CapitolRiver Council) and is home to Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild hockey team, Galtier Plaza, McNally Smith College of Music, Minnesota Swarm, and Wells Fargo Place. When the Wild are playing or there is some other event, downtown can become busier. There are exceptions. The downtown hosts very pleasant parks, most notably one of the oldest parks in the country in the jewel-like Rice Park. The streetscape has also been improved in some areas of downtown, including along Wabasha and St. Peter Streets, where a small collection of restaurants has developed. That said, the more nightlife-oriented bars have developed just outside downtown on West Seventh Street. The extensive skyway system connecting most of the office buildings has also contributed in removing foot traffic from the streets.
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