Harriet Island Pavilion

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Harriet Island Pavilion
Harriet Island Pavilion.jpg
Harriet Island Pavilion is located in Minnesota
Harriet Island Pavilion
Harriet Island Pavilion is located in the US
Harriet Island Pavilion
Location 200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°56′15″N 93°5′50″W / 44.93750°N 93.09722°W / 44.93750; -93.09722Coordinates: 44°56′15″N 93°5′50″W / 44.93750°N 93.09722°W / 44.93750; -93.09722
Built 1941
Architect Clarence W. Wigington
Architectural style Moderne
NRHP Reference # 92000821[1]
Added to NRHP July 10, 1992

The Harriet Island Pavilion, currently known as the Clarence W. Wigington Pavilion, is a park pavilion on Harriet Island just across the Mississippi River from downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was designed by Clarence W. Wigington, the nation's first black municipal architect, and renamed for Wigington after a 2000 restoration.[2] Harriet island was named for Harriet Bishop, a Baptist school teacher from Vermont.[3] She arrived in Saint Paul in 1847, was involved in the temperance movement, and opened the first school in the frontier city, teaching children of diverse ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.[4][5][6]

The park at Harriet Island was built by Dr. Justus Ohage, St. Paul's health officer, who donated the land to the city in 1900. His idea for the park was to build a place for healthy living in the center of the city. The park originally had a public bathhouse and beach, along with amenities like playgrounds, picnic grounds, handball and tennis courts, and a bandstand. The park was initially very popular, but pollution from the Mississippi River forced the bathhouse to close in 1919. The city made several attempts to revitalize the park, but none of the attempts was particularly successful until the Works Progress Administration built the pavilion in 1941-1942. The architecture combines Moderne design with classical influences.[7]

The Mankato-Kasota stone used in the construction was salvaged from the former St. Paul City Hall-Ramsey County Courthouse, which was built in 1889 and demolished in 1933.[2]


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  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b Millett, Larry (2007). AIA Guide to the Twin Cities: The Essential Source on the Architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 404. ISBN 0-87351-540-4. 
  3. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 441. 
  4. ^ Kunz, Virginia Brainard (1991). Saint Paul - The First 150 Years. The Saint Paul Foundation. ISBN 0-9630690-0-4. 
  5. ^ "Harriet Bishop-MN 150". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  6. ^ "Harriet Bishop Biography". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  7. ^ "1940s: Clarence W. Wigington (Harriet Island) Pavilion". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-10-15.