Our Work

City House

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    • the restored Head House is a riverfront icon
    • Overview

      MSR worked with the City of Saint Paul to preserve and redevelop this seven-story concrete frame grain elevator and one-story companion brick and steel truss building on the Mississippi River.

      Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the municipal elevator complex includes the seven-story Head House and adjacent one-story Sack House, both of which were severely deteriorated. The repair and preservation of these industrial structures allow visitors to imagine the working river that built the city. The Sack House now serves as a trail rest stop, park shelter, and event center with interpretive elements that tell its history. A master plan for the complex also outlines future use for the Head House. It will eventually serve as a public observation tower that will further interpret the building’s grain handling equipment while providing dramatic views of the riverfront.

    • Saint Paul Municipal Grain Terminal in operation, 1930s
    • the remnants of the Saint Paul Municipal Grain Terminal before restoration, 2002
    • the new trail rest stop and park shelter offer amenities to the neighborhood and region
    • original loading doors provide a visual link between the trail and the river
    • the expansive Sack House now serves as a trail rest stop, park shelter, and events venue
    • interpretive signage accompanies preserved machinery, offering a glimpse into past use
    • originally a loading platform for barges, a walkway offers expansive views of the river
    • Specifications

      Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

      Type: Adaptive reuse

      Size: 10,200 square feet (interpretive center); 5,000 square feet (event center)

    • Awards

      Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Preservation Award.

      Saint Paul Heritage Commission Preservation Award.

      One of Finance & Commerce’s Top Projects of 2009.

    • Project Contact

      Rhys MacPherson

      • Designer / Senior Associate
      • rhys@msrdesign.com
      • 612 360 0196
      • View Bio

      Thomas Meyer

      • Architect / Principal
      • thomas@msrdesign.com
      • 612 359 3222
      • View Bio