Nobody knows for sure where the name-Frogtown-comes from, although chances are it has to do with the neighborhood's earliest aquatic residents. In the 1880s, when Germans first settled here to be near rail yard jobs, they called their marshy new home, Froschburg, or Frog City, probably for their croaking companions outside, although the debate over the name rages on. Today, the marshes, with their frog choruses, are long gone.
located northwest of the Capitol, the houses of ThomasDale/Frogtown are modest, consisting of worker cottages built by the earliest residents and newer two-story Midwestern-squares and ramblers. Some of the lots are narrow, apparently the result of subdivisions by enterprising residents. Over half of the housing is pre-1940, and many of the cottages are over one hundred years old. Habitat for Humanity, the Twin Cities Builders Outreach Foundation, and other civic organizations have rehabilitated and replaced some of the deteriorated housing stock, and artists have brightened up the district's color palette. Today Thomas-Dale is mostly a Vietnamese business district with scores of restaurants and bilingual services along eastern University Avenue. The neighborhood's striking monument to the area's early European workers is the Church of St. Agnes, with its 200-foot high onion dome roof and featuring performances of chamber music and the works of Mozart.
Though the neighborhood is still beset by poverty, crime and overcrowded housing, Thomas-Dale is a St. Paul Police Department ''Weed and Seed" site. The goal: to "weed" out violent crime, drug use and gang activity from targeted high-crime neighborhoods, and to prevent crime from recurring by "seeding" the area with a wide range of programs and services from both public and private entities. Overall, this area is recommended to newcomers only if they are accustomed to the energy of an urban neighborhood.
Web Sites: www.ci.stpaul.mn.us, www.tdreenet.org
Area Code: 651
Zip Codes: 55103, 55104
Post Offices: Rice Street Station, 40 Arlington Avenue; Industrial Station, 1430 Concordia Avenue (all post office branches can be reached at 800-275-8777).
Police: West of Rice Street: Western District Patrol Team North, 651- 292-3512; South, 651-292-3549; East of Rice Street: Central District Patrol Team, 651-292-3563
Emergency Hospital: St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, 640 Jackson Street, 651-221-3456
Ubrary: Lexington Branch, 1080 University Avenue, 651-642-0359
Community Resou rce : Thomas.Dale Planning Council, 369 University Avenue, 651·298-5068
Community Publications: St. Poul Grand Gazette, 651-699-1462; St. Paul Pioneer Press, 651·222·5011, www.pioneerplanet.com
Transportation: Bus Lines: 5: Inver Grove Heights/Como Boulevard/State Fairgrounds/Downtown; 7: Downtown/Thomas Avenue/Signal Hills/Mendota Heights; 8: Downtown/Jackson Street/Inver Hills College; 12: Downtown/ Rice Street/Roseville; 16: Downtown Minneapolis/University Avenue/Downtown St. Paul; 17: Dale Street/Rosedale; 95E: Downtown/Bandana Square/Downtown Minneapolis
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