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Rondo Neighborhood & I-94: Overview

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Booker T. Cafe & Tavern, 381-383 Rondo, St. PaulThe Days of Rondo, by Evelyn Fairbanks.
St. Paul, Minn: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990.
MNHS call number: F605.1.F353 A3 1990, also available for purchase

Growing Up in St. Paul: The Rondo Years, 1948-1950, by Susanne Sebesta Heimbuch. 
In Ramsey County History, Vol. 46, no. 2 (summer 2011). 
MNHS call number: Reading Room F612.R22 R3 v.46:2

Housing and Redevelopment Authority of the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Redevelopment Project Files, 1953-1969.
 The portions related to Rondo neighborhood can be found in the Western Redevelopement Area appraisal files.  Properties were appraised for city acquisition and future demolition. Folders are arranged by street name and address and dates range from June 1953-January 1957, certain fodlers contain photographs of properties.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Oral History Interviews of the Rondo Oral History Project, 1997-1998, 2003-2004.
Collection of interviews, created by Hand in Hand Productions, capturing the lives and experiences of long time residents of St. Paul, Minnesota’s Rondo community. 
MNHS call numberDigital Finding AidDigital Audio and Transcripts

"Rondo Ave., 1865-1966: Echo of the Past, Herald to the Future," Edward Harris, Jr., and Steve Wilson, producers.
Minnesota: H/W Productions, 1990.
This video recording examines the history of the Rondo Avenue neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. Former residents are interviewed including David V. Taylor and James Griffin.
MNHS call number: Videotape no. 211


In the 1930s, Rondo Avenue was at the heart of St. Paul's largest African American neighborhood that was displaced in the 1960s by freeway construction.

African Americans whose families had lived in Minnesota for decades and others who were just arriving from the South made up a vibrant, vital community that was in many ways independent of the white society around it. The construction of I-94 shattered this tight-knit community, displaced thousands of African Americans into a racially segregated city and a discriminatory housing market, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood.

While the construction of I-94 radically changed the landscape of the neighborhood, the community of Rondo still exists and its persistence and growth are celebrated through events like Rondo Days and the Jazz Festival.

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