Spring Morning on Summit Avenue
Oil on Canvas – 2009
Summit Avenue is one of the nation’s great thoroughfares. The first permanent home constructed on the bluff was completed in 1855, three years before Minnesota became a state. The bluff commanded a grand view of the young city of Saint Paul and Mississippi River which flowed thru the expansive crescent shaped valley. It was written at the time by a city booster “Nature never planned a spot better adapted to build up a showy and delightful display of architecture and gardens.” By the end of that century the prediction had become true.
Late nineteenth century mansion lined streets like Summit Avenue were not uncommon; Chicago, New York, Cleveland and Minneapolis had them, but it is only Saint Paul whose monumental boulevard streetscape remains largely intact. In 1978 an author wrote,“thus, St. Paul’s Summit Avenue stands as the best-preserved American example of the Victorian monumental boulevard.” This view is of timeless Cochrane Park at Summit and Western Avenues.