St. Paul’s West End continued to be as vibrant and lively as ever, and the Community Reporter was there to capture the stories of the people and places that make our community so special.
While we care about every story in our community, here are a few that give a snapshot into the year that was 2023.
Justus Ramsey House
In late 2022, the Justus Ramsey house, one of the oldest structures in the state, was slated for demolition. But the community rallied and found new life, and a new home, for the historic building.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/tag/justus-ramsey-house
When Fresh Grounds shuttered in the wake of the pandemic, many in the community were sad to see the mission driven coffee joint go. Then Wildflyer Coffee, a work and life skills program aimed at tackling youth homelessness that takes the shape of a café, moved in.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/wildflyer-youth-program-taking-over-fresh-grounds-building
House of Thune
West 7th’s House of Thune took home top honors in the world snow sculpting competition held in Stillwater in January, beating teams from around the globe, including teams representing Canada, Turkey, Finland and others.
After 20 cumulative years with Keystone Community Services, Mary McKeown stepped down from her role as President and CEO in June. Her successor, Adero Riser Cobb, is no stranger to the halls of Keystone Community Services herself.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/tag/keystone-community-services
Fort Road Federation celebrates 50 years
The Fort Road Federation’s leadership honored the past while looking ahead at the annual Federation meeting, which marked the district council’s 50th year of operation. They also welcomed Julia McColley as their newest Executive Director in March.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/tag/fort-road-federation
The St. Paul Art Crawl celebrated another year of showcasing local artists over multiple weekends. With one in the spring and one in the fall, there was art for all this year.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/tag/st-paul-art-crawl
Hail Mary Piercing
Hail Mary Piercing, which opened in April, is not your stereotypical piercing shop and is aiming to change perceptions while changing customers’ experience.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/new-west-7th-piercing-shop-aims-to-change-perceptions
Moms Demand Action
Gretchen Damon and Emily Benzie, part of Moms Demand Action, talk about sensible firearm restrictions as the group gets results in 2023.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/demanding-sensible-action-against-gun-violence
United Family Physicians residency program
For the first time since 2019, residents with United Family Physicians were able to highlight the work they are doing in the community.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/united-family-residents-highlight-work-in-the-community
Grand Oak Opry
“The thing that weirds people out is you’re walking into our backyard,” Said Sean Kershaw, who along with his husband Tim Hawkins, operate the Grand Oak Opry concert venue out of their, well, backyard.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/grand-oak-opry-kicks-off-2023-season
St. Francis de Sales 50th reunion
On June 3, 1973, the eighth graders at St. Francis de Sales attended the 9:30 a.m. Mass; all dressed-up and well coiffured. While most students seemed elated to be moving on to high school, they also knew they were all leaving something very special behind.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/st-francis-de-sales-plans-50th-reunion
Homeless Assistance Response Team
The City of St. Paul has taken a unique approach to homeless encampments – meeting them where they are to provide services and a little HART.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/providing-services-for-the-unhoused-with-hart
This year was a big one for politics in St. Paul, with a new dynamic on the city council and school board, and a new 1% sales tax coming our way.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/tag/election-2023
Time Rumsey provides us with a bit of history on what was once the regional hospital for St. Paul, right in our own backyard.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/a-piece-of-ancker-hospital
Joseph’s Coat welcomes new leader
Joseph’s Coat, a St. Paul free store, providing goods and services to people in need in an environment of dignity and respect, welcomed their new executive director, Rebecca Bedner, in September.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/josephs-coat-welcomes-new-executive-director-rebecca-bedner
Forepaugh’s get’s a new lease on life
On September 25, the HPC approved the demolition and reconstruction of the front porch of the historic Forepaugh mansion, with the restaurant reopening a possibility.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/hpc-approves-forepaughs-porch-reconstruction
Cossetta’s in the panettone world cup
In 2013, Dave Cossetta decided to add a quest to his and his team’s agenda: To Master the Art of Panettone and Pan d’Oro. In 2023, they were the only U.S. based team to qualify for the Coppa del Monde in Milano, 2024.
Day by Day Cafe owner celebrates 50 years of sobriety
Long-time employee at Day by Day, Saul Garcia, said wanted to mark the occasion by surprising Ekbom because he has meant so much to the recovery community, and the West 7th community, in St. Paul. He contacted the Mayor’s office to have November 26, 2023 officially recognized as “Greg Ekbom Day” in the city.
Get the whole story: communityreporter.org/greg-ekbom-celebrates-50-years-of-taking-it-day-by-day