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Paul — some more palatial than others.
Construction began Saturday and is expected to wrap up sometime today. Crews construct a mini ice palace in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul, Sunday, January 24, Scott Takushi Jim Brown uses a chainsaw to cut ice blocks to size, as Dan Klingner looks on, as crews build the mini ice palace in Rice Park in downtown St. Scott Takushi helps build the mini ice palace in Rice Park in downtown St.
This West Wind sculpture will be a carving of a cowboy and horse. Carving of the sculptures has not begun because of the relatively warm weather. Scott Takushi A stack of ice blocks will be carved into a South Wind sculpture of a bull and caballero, one of the Four Winds sculptures at the four corners of Rice Park surrounding the mini ice palace being built in downtown St.
From the Pioneer Press archives, here are 14 of the most spectacular: Originally designed for a festival in Montreal, the first Winter Carnival Ice Palace was built in the style of a medieval castle, complete with towers, turrets, battlements and embrasures. It was feet long by feet wide, and its massive central tower was feet tall. It was the first ice palace ever built in the U. Pioneer Press file photo Architect Charles Joy created a Romanesque fantasy in the shape of a Latin cross, feet wide and feet tall.
Its octagonal, foot tower was held up by eight flying buttresses, which allowed the walls to be thin and transparent. From it flew the carnival flag, emblazoned with a white polar bear on a blue background. The grandest of all St. Paul Ice Palaces required two months of labor and 55, blocks of ice.
The wedding of George G. Brown and Eva Evans was held within its walls, with 6, guests in attendance. A major January thaw forced the builders to compromise on the design, and whole sections were left unfinished.
On the positive side, the castle housed a restaurant and featured two side-by-side toboggan slides that ran its entire length.
One of two forts built that year, the structure in Rice Park demonstrated that modest ice buildings, when surrounded by urban buildings, look even smaller.
This was the first Ice Palace seen by Fitzgerald, and it inspired him to search out examples of a more ambitious past. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Local enthusiasts defied the Depression and used WPA labor to build a large palace that was feet long, 86 feet wide and 60 feet high.
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The handsome modulated design by city architect Cap Wigington called for 30, blocks of ice. When it melted, major flooding and road damage resulted at its site near the Capitol.
It was built in three weeks by laborers who had to endure dangerous winds. Cap Wigington used a tall hill in Como Park to make the foot-high castle seem even taller. Long lines of gawkers waited to have their letters postmarked from a branch office located inside, establishing a letter-mailing tradition. Speed skaters race outside the ice palace in Como Park at the Winter Carnival in this photo by official Winter Carnival photographer Bernard Schleiter.
Photo courtesy of Jane Lonergan Taller than the structure, but placed on the same hilltop in Como Park, the Ice Palace was threatened by warming weather. A meltdown was averted by St. Paul school children, who plastered the lower courses of ice with newspapers. The castle, constructed by workers using 30, ice blocks, included an foot tower. Bob Olsen, then a student at St. Olaf College, organized a castle-building project at the current Town Square site in downtown St.
Architects Craig Rafferty and Jeri Zuber created a foot-high castle of folded walls and planes that broke from the carnival tradition of imitating medieval structures. The castle was erected on the same downtown site as the structure, and both suffered from the problem of urban scale.
Designed by Ellerbe Architects, the centennial Ice Palace featured a slender, sharply pointed central tower that ascended nearly feet.
It was erected next to Lake Phalen by laborers and was the first to use prefabricated parts and computerized lighting. A fireworks display puts the final touches on the lighting ceremony for the Ice Palace during opening night on Harriet Island. Paul Winter Carnival Association, despite drawing an estimated 2. When the structure was demolished after its day run on Harriet Island, five front-end loaders worked for 24 hours to dump 7 million pounds of ice chunks into the Mississippi River.
And they did — about , people turned out.
St. Paul had some amazing ice palaces – here they are – Twin Cities
Pioneer Press File David Hawley contributed to this article. Nick Woltman can be reached at Follow him at twitter. Nick Woltman Nick Woltman reports on breaking news and blogs about local history. He lives with his wife and two cats in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood of St. Follow Nick Woltman nickwoltman Follow Nick Woltman nickwoltman As you comment, please be respectful of other commenters and other viewpoints. Our goal with article comments is to provide a space for civil, informative and constructive conversations.