Levee Park

Location:

101 South Front Street

Acres:

1.3 Acres
Features: 
Camper Dumping Station
Drinking Fountain(s)
Grill(s)
Horseshoe Courts
Picnic Table(s)
Playground

Community Park - Historical Theme, Chamber of Commerce Office and Tourist Information Center, Historic "camel-backed" bridge across Minnesota River

SCULPTURE GARDEN DEVELOPMENT - The City, working with Ann Rosenquist Fee of the Arts Center of St. Peter, is in discussion to develop a sculpture garden within Levee Park to feature the works of Paul T. Granlund who served as the Artist in Residence at Gustavus Adolphus College from 1971 to 1996. Mr. Granlund’s sculptures are displayed worldwide and the Gustavus Adolphus campus is dotted with examples of his artwork.
Along with Mr. Granlund’s work, the sculpture garden park will showcase sculptures and artwork created by Granlund’s former students and protégés which have been heavily influenced by his instruction and methods. A number of these artists have expressed interest in participating in the sculpture garden development given their respect and admiration for Mr. Granlund. Jonathan Granlund, the son of the artist, is serving as a conduit between the art community and the artist working group.
Preliminary plans call for repurposing a portion of Levee Park along the 100 block of South Front Street. This park is also the location of the Chamber of Commerce. Given its size and proximity to the Arts Center, Mill Pond area and businesses in the central business district, the site is ideal for attracting the public while allowing an opportunity to connect to the Minnesota River with the development of a scenic overlook or perhaps a pedestrian trail.
Saint Peter Architect Matt Byers, of the Practice of Lasting Art, Architecture and Design (PLAAD) firm, is donating his time, talents and services in the development of the sculpture garden design. Mr. Byers has met with the small planning group and led them through a process to conceptualize possible sculpture garden components and design elements.
Design work and development of a preliminary budget are underway. Once the costs have been determined, fund raising efforts will begin in earnest as the sculpture garden is intended to be privately financed through donations solicited from individuals, businesses, foundations and patrons of the arts.  Watch the Hot Sheet for more information as this project progresses.

History

The city levee (boat landing) at the foot of Broadway Avenue was in the original city plat of 1854. The levee was a roughly 850-foot long section of the river bank where steamboats docked, and where a ferry across the river was located. The rock beneath the west side of the current Broadway bridge was the inspiration for the original name of Saint Peter, “Rock Bend”. The current Levee Park is on the southern half of the original levee, and, while only about 1.4 acres in size, is home to the Chamber of Commerce building, the Pearly Gates, playground equipment, picnic tables and grills.

Using steamboats on the Minnesota River was found to be feasible in about 1850, and there were as many as 400 trips per year until railroads came to the city in the early 1870's. The early growth of the city and county depended on steamboats to bring most goods to and from markets. In 1870 a large iron swing bridge was built at the site of the current bridge, and the ferry was no longer needed. This was replaced with a similar bridge in 1887, and in 1931 this swing bridge was replaced by the current bridge, which is being renovated and upgraded in 2017. The last steamboat to dock at Saint Peter was the Henrietta, in May 1897.