Local Historic Districts
Local historic districts are a concentration of older buildings, structures, sites, and spaces that tell a story about the history, culture, and community of the city. The City of St. Cloud currently has 5 local historic districts that have been officially designated by the City Council as significant:
- Barden Park
- Pantown Neighborhood
- Southside Neighborhood
- St. Cloud Commercial District
- Southeast Historic Overlay District
Barden Park Historic District
The Barden Park Historic District contains St. Cloud’s oldest city park, as well as residential properties in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. It is located entirely in St. Cloud’s historic Lower Town, an area devoted to residential development.
The Barden Park Historic District is significant in St. Cloud because it contains a visual inventory of the residential architectural styles constructed in the city from the 1880s through 1945. The district contains examples of styles that are rare or well preserved and not found in other areas of the city. Both upper and middle class residences are represented in the district bordering the city’s oldest park.
The earliest structure in the district is a well preserved home at 801 Fourth Street South,built in 1882, in the Gothic Revival style, which is relatively rare in St. Cloud. There is a Folk Victorian (711 Fifth Avenue South), an American Four-Square (801 Fifth Avenue South), a Neo Classic (723 Fifth Avenue South), and a uniquely regional composite with Dutch and classic elements (701 Fifth Avenue South) all represented in this historic district.
The Alumni House located at 724 4th Avenue South, across from Barden Park
Pantown Neighborhood Historic District
The Pantown Neighborhood Historic District encompasses the heart of one of St. Cloud’s most unique historic residential neighborhoods. In 1917, Samuel Pandolfo established this neighborhood to house employees of the Pan Motor Company, which was located on 33rd Avenue North and 8th Street North.
Buildings in the district are typically one and one-half story single-family dwellings. All original Pantown homes were constructed between 1917 and 1919. Homes in the district are primarily Craftsman style, with a few Colonial Revival style. The designer of the homes, Arthur C. Clausen, designed twenty-five different Pantown designs using three specific models: small rectangular homes with little or no ornamentation; mid-size homes with open porches and decorative ornamentation; and larger, more elaborate dwellings for company executives.
2123 8th Street North in the Pantown Neighborhood Historic District
Southside Neighborhood Historic District
The Southside Neighborhood Historic District is one of St. Cloud’s oldest residential neighborhoods, Middle Town which was platted in 1854 by John L. Wilson. Streets in Middle Town were aligned parallel to the Mississippi River and extended south to the historic ravine that once ran all the way from Lake George to the river. South of the ravine, the community of Lower Town was platted on a grid oriented to the points of the compass rather than the river.
Within the district are nine blocks of primarily residential development, with over 65 buildings. Although predominantly single-family residential in land use, there are several apartment buildings, two churches, and a number of buildings used as housing by St. Cloud State University students.
The local district contains approximately 261 buildings. The northeast portion of the district was locally designated in 1999 and the remaining area was locally designated in 2002. Although predominantly residential in nature, the district includes the City’s oldest remaining churches and a number of historic apartment buildings. A large number of buildings are used as housing for St. Cloud State University students.
Built between the early 1880’s and 1950’s, the houses in the district represent many styles. Examples include: Gothic Revival style, J.G. Smith House (211 3rd Avenue South), elaborate Romanesque style, Clarke House (356 3rd Avenue South), Colonial Revival style, Abeles House (223 3rd Avenue South), Prairie style, Neide House (201 Ramsey Place), and Period Revival styles that line Highbanks Place.
The Clarke House located at 356 3rd Avenue South
St. Cloud Commercial Historic District
The St. Cloud Commercial Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 and was locally designated in 2002. The Commercial Historic District has a total of 64 properties.
St. Cloud began as three communities in the early 1850s. Upper Town, named Acadia, was founded by Tennessee General Sylvanus B. Lowry, and was settled primarily by southerners escaping the summer heat of their home states. Middle Town, named St. Cloud, was founded by John L. Wilson and settled by German immigrants mostly from Indiana. Lower Town, named St. Cloud City, was platted as a town site by George Fuller Brott, a developer from New York, and settled by Yankee businessmen. By March 1856, the three towns incorporated into the single town of St. Cloud.
Located where downtown currently sits, Middle Town became the community's primary business district because of its German Catholic population. German immigrants settling in the Sauk River Valley preferred to do business with German speaking clerks and businessmen. The onset of the Civil War forced Southerners to return to the South permanently and Upper Town ceased to be a viable commercial district. The businessmen of Lower Town moved to Middle Town and hired German clerks to capture more of the German community’s business.
Southeast Historic Overlay District
The Southeast Historic Overlay District consists of existing public improvements owned by the City of St. Cloud and Saint Cloud State University (SCSU), formerly known as the St. Cloud State Teachers College. This includes the areas of Munsinger Gardens & Riverside Park, Kilian Boulevard, George A. Selke Field, and George W. Friedrich Park. The land in the district developed during the Great Depression with the help of the New Deal from 1933-1943. Many of the materials were contributed by the City of St. Cloud, St. Cloud State Teachers College, and private donors, including several local granite companies.