Good afternoon from St. Paul! The wireless network is not yet operational at the River Centre, so I'm writing this from a Dunn Bros coffee shop located in a historic building a few blocks away. Dunn Bros is a really good local chain of coffee shops that does a great job of locating its franchises in historic buildings (in downtown Minneapolis they have locations within blocks of either side of the landmark Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River; if you're down there make sure to check out the "Freight House" location, next to the Milwaukee Road Depot).
Dunn Bros is also, apparently, open to some innovative partnerships--this location is one large room, half of which is occupied by the coffee shop, while the other half is an optometry shop. Weird pairing, but both businesses have been here for several years, so seems like it's working.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in downtown St. Paul this morning are all the banners hanging from street lamps welcoming the National Trust to St. Paul. They look great, and help to brighten up what is so far a gloomy, gray day.
Check out what the local media is saying about the conference. The Minneapolis Star Tribune article appeared in Sunday's paper and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press ran this story this morning (login required).
And keep an eye on this space: We're going to be reporting from the National Preservation Conference every day this week.
-- Virgil McDill