Downtown St. Paul’s Rice Park, the setting for summertime festival events and the Winter Carnival’s recent seven-story Ice Palace, will be closed this summer.
The park is getting a $2.2 million facelift — new lighting, landscaping and walkways — and work will begin next month, according to Mike Hahm, the city’s director of parks and recreation. The work is expected to be completed by late fall.
“The community asks a lot of the park,” Hahm said Friday morning. “It’s time to spruce it up and make it more relevant.”
The makeover was launched in 2015 and will be funded by $1 million from the city and $1.2 million raised through St. Paul Garden Club, the Parks Conservancy and the Rice Park Association.
A fence around the park will become a public art project through Forecast Public Art St. Paul.
Donated to the city by Minnesota pioneer Henry Mower Rice in 1849, the 1.6-acre park has become an anchor of downtown.