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Old 12-13-2011, 07:18 PM
 
Location: MN
3,971 posts, read 9,702,235 times
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Glenfield pretty much nailed it- Minneapolis and St. Paul were founded at different times for different reasons. The most unique part is that they have both grown and have prospered - as partners. St. Paul was founded earlier as a military post and a trading center. Fort Snelling and Pig's Eye Landing were the original settlements. St. Paul was incorporated in 1854. Upriver was St. Anthony falls, where flour mills and lumber mills attracted settlement. Minneapolis was incorporated in 1867. They seem to be pretty close in proximity now, but in the mid 19th century, 13 miles was a long distance.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Carver County, MN
1,395 posts, read 2,667,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxontwinz View Post
I do wonder why two cities very close to eachother became very large. Why was Minneapolis almost always been above St. Paul? Why did people even decide to settle 10 miles west in Minneapolis?

If it's because of river transportation, then why didn't Hastings and Stillwater explode, and become the Twin Cities?

Simply put, for Minneapolis, St. Anthony Falls and milling. That's why Mpls. exploded with growth.

St. Paul probably a combination of river transport, proximity to Fort Snelling, being the state capital and the development of the railroads.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
8 posts, read 18,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenfield View Post
St. Paul and Minneapolis were settled at different times for different reasons. St. Paul was near the military garrison in the area, while the area now in Minmeapolis was the site of St. Anthony falls, which provided water power for lumber and, later, flour mills. It is important to understand that while the cities are adjoining and are both on the Mississippi River, their original sites are quite a ways from each other. When people settled at St. Anthony falls, they would notmhave thought that they were at all settling near St. Paul. It's only after the two cities grew, and transportation improved, that they could be thought of as neighbors.

What difference would it make if theymwere combined now? Well, it will never happen-- there'd be too many political jobs lost to allow it-- but in terms of the dynamics of the area, it wouldn't make a bit of difference. We on the west side of the river would still rarely go east, and vice versa. It wouldn't change the way the rest of the country views us or anything. we'd just have to come up with a new name for the Twins.
I just want to clarify that I didn't intent for my hypothetical question to be taken literally. I would not suggest that the two cities would ever combine to become one. I'm more so asking a "what if" or more like a what could have been, if by chance, the two cities had developed closer together, or had developed as one larger city back in the day. Names are irrelevant.

Could the area have had one large kickass city that may have been up there with Chicago, Houston, or somewhere in the top 10?

This is just meant as a "for fun" discussion.

I do find the history of the two cities to be fascinating.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
They seem to be pretty close in proximity now, but in the mid 19th century, 13 miles was a long distance.
Yeah, that is a very good point.

For what is of today, I can't help but be intrigued with their being too large cities so close to each other.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Home in NOMI
1,635 posts, read 2,666,485 times
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As Knke says, Minneapolis and St Paul seem close today, but before the era of the streetcar they were a half day's ride apart by horse. Unless you took the railroad, you didn't commute from one to the other on a daily basis.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xandrex View Post
Unless you're someone like me who lives in Southeast Minneapolis and has to cross the river to get to most of the rest of the city.
Good point. I have quite a few neighbors that work for the state that do that commute. And I do go over to St. Paul from time to time and enjoy it quite a bit. Meritage is one of our favorite restaurants, and I wouldn't miss the Lenten enchilada dinners at Our Lady of Guadalupe.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
5,509 posts, read 11,904,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfternoonThunder View Post
I just want to clarify that I didn't intent for my hypothetical question to be taken literally. I would not suggest that the two cities would ever combine to become one. I'm more so asking a "what if" or more like a what could have been, if by chance, the two cities had developed closer together, or had developed as one larger city back in the day. Names are irrelevant.

Could the area have had one large kickass city that may have been up there with Chicago, Houston, or somewhere in the top 10?

This is just meant as a "for fun" discussion.

I do find the history of the two cities to be fascinating.
Oh I see......combine the municipalities and populations and rename them? I've thought about that for a long time now, and STILL can't figure out a good name for the combined city! I think it could be a good idea though, as the urban core of the metro area needs all of the districting power it can garner to compete with suburbs and other metros. A city with 800K to 1M and a little over 100 sq. miles has a lot more clout than two cities half that size that have different views and budgets to work with. What if Minneapolis wanted to develop a subway system, but St. Paul didn't and Minny couldn't fund the system without the help of St. Paul taxpayers? This may not be the best example, but I figure there are examples out there that make having a larger population and land mass beneficial.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:21 PM
 
Location: MN
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Well I've done this a few times before...

Minneapolis:
Pop: 382,600
Sq Miles: 55

St. Paul:
Pop: 285,000
Sq Miles: 53

Combining the two would make a combined city called "The Twin Cities" (much like The Woodlands, TX).

The Twin Ciies
Pop: 667,600
Sq Miles: 108
Pop Density: 6,182 people/sq mi.


That would put "The Twin Cities" at #19 in US City Population Rankings. However, 'The Twin Cities' would be one of more dense large cities in the USA. At 108 sq miles the city would be one of the smallest land-wise. For reference, NYC = 302 sq miles, LA = 486 sq miles, Chicago = 228 sq miles, Houston = 600 sq miles, Philadelphia = 134 sq miles, San Fran = 47. **If The Twin Cities went by Houston's standards, the population would be 3.7 million!!, the second largest city in the USA!!!!

The Twin Cities would be a major metropolis that would pack quite a punch in 108 square miles. Seemingly there would be two downtowns, with current-day Minneapolis being the superior business district. I would imagine that St. Paul would be like Atlanta's Buckhead or LA's Century City.

There would be nearly 20 lakes.
It would be one of the most diverse cities in the country- Largest population centers for Somali and Hmong as well as other East African and South Asia populations. Heritage rich in Scandanavian, French and German cultures.
Attached Thumbnails
What if Minneapolis and St. Paul Were Closer Together or One Big City?-twin-cities.jpg  
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:27 PM
 
Location: MN
3,971 posts, read 9,702,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west336 View Post
Oh I see......combine the municipalities and populations and rename them? I've thought about that for a long time now, and STILL can't figure out a good name for the combined city! I think it could be a good idea though, as the urban core of the metro area needs all of the districting power it can garner to compete with suburbs and other metros. A city with 800K to 1M and a little over 100 sq. miles has a lot more clout than two cities half that size that have different views and budgets to work with. What if Minneapolis wanted to develop a subway system, but St. Paul didn't and Minny couldn't fund the system without the help of St. Paul taxpayers? This may not be the best example, but I figure there are examples out there that make having a larger population and land mass beneficial.
Most public projects and planning such infrastructure is overseen by The Metropolitan Council. In addition to that, most projects like that would be administered by State or County government(s). Not too many issues arise regarding the two Local Level Municipalities. Leaders of both communities understand that neither can function without each other and know what's good for one community is good for another.

The most infamous example would be the 'fight' for the Expansion NHL team in the mid 1990s. Minneapolis wanted it, but struggled to find a partner (see Vikings stadium) and St. Paul scooped in with the help of Norm Coleman. This upset some Minneapolitans due to loss of tax base, infrastructure improvement and the 'clout' of having all four professional teams in town.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:55 PM
 
6,620 posts, read 16,620,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxontwinz View Post
I do wonder why two cities very close to eachother became very large. Why was Minneapolis almost always been above St. Paul? Why did people even decide to settle 10 miles west in Minneapolis?

If it's because of river transportation, then why didn't Hastings and Stillwater explode, and become the Twin Cities?

They probably wouldn't combine the St. with something unholy or not a saint. It would probably be something of an old importance. I would think Minnehaha or Sibley would be more fitting. Then again, those cities could also have been called Hastings or just kept the name St. Paul since it was founded first.
St Paul's big growth spurt came during the steamboat era. At the time, it was the head of navigation on the Mississippi. The river above there was unnavigible. Minneapolis grew because of the (unnavigable!) water falls, which were used to power the city's massive flour industry.
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