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27
March 2018

Downtown St. Paul’s Rice Park will be closed this summer for $2.2 million facelift

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.

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