Rice Park Renovation Project

General Project Overview

Project Description: Rice Park is a significant public space in Saint Paul located on the block bounded by Washington Street, 5th Street, 4th Street, and Market Street. The park is 1.6 acres. In 2014, the Saint Paul Garden Club raised funds to address the need for improvements to Rice Park.  The City developed a concept plan for phased improvements to the park. Successful private fundraising and public funds are supporting this project as it moves towards construction in the spring of 2018.   

Project Background: Rice Park is a beloved public space at the heart of downtown Saint Paul. Rice Park was dedicated as Saint Paul’s first public space when it was given to the city in 1849. Since then, it has experienced many transformations and renovations as a popular green space in an urban area. It is a well-used urban park that serves many individuals and hosts numerous events including the Winter Carnival, Flint Hills Children Festival, the Ordway’s Summer Dance, and many more.

Project Updates:

January 3, 2018 - Tree removal will begin in Rice Park as part of the Rice Park Revitalization Project. Trees are being removed due to disease, safety, and for improved design. New tree plantings will being in summer 2018.

September 29, 2017 - Plants will be removed and transplanted to other St Paul Park sites in preparation for construction next spring

June - August 2017: Design Development
September-December: Construction Documents
January- February:  2018: Advertise and Bid Project
April 2018: Construction to begin

Rice Park will be closed April-September 2018 (tentative).



Design Advisory Committee Meetings:
Meeting #1: November 19, 2014
Presentation - Meeting #1
Survey Results
Meeting Minutes

Meeting #2: January 21, 2015 6pm-8pm Landmark Center
Presentation - Meeting #2
Presentation - Precedent Projects
Meeting #2 Minutes

Meeting #3: March 3, 2015 3pm-5pm - Landmark Center Room
Presentation - Meeting #3
Concept Plan
Meeting Minutes

Public Open House - April 8, 2015 5-7pm - Landmark Center

Project Resources:
St. Paul Historic Context Studies: Downtown Saint Paul, 1849-1975

Rice Park Historic District - Historic Designation Form [Draft]

Project Information

Design Advisory Committee Members:

  • Betsy Kelly, St Paul Garden Club
  • Colleen Fitzpatrick, St Paul Garden Club
  • Amy Mino, Landmark Center
  • Pat Steineman, St Paul Hotel
  • Nancy Huart, Travellers
  • Greg Fouks, JJ Hill Library
  • David Lilly, Ordway
  • Kathy Ross/Tim Wolfgram, Xcel Energy
  • Andrea McKennan, George Latimer Central Library
  • Dave Haley, Ramsey County
  • Ruth Huss, Resident
  • Tim Griffin, Capitol River Council Representative

Participating Staff Members:

  • Amy Spong, City of Saint Paul, HPC
  • Karin Misiewicz, City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Operations