Most downtown visitors don’t think of Hamm Memorial Plaza as parkland, but it is a critical public space.
The round lot forms the tip of the arrowhead-shaped formation of historic buildings and landmarks in downtown Saint Paul that includes the Saint Paul Public Library, the James J. Hill Center, Rice Park, Landmark Center and the Historic Hamm Building. The land was a gift from the Hamm family to the City of Saint Paul in 1959.
A fountain was commissioned on this site in 1968 to honor Theodore Hamm, William Hamm, Sr. and William Hamm, Jr.
Artist Jackie Ferrara redesigned the space in 1992 when the plaza was rededicated to the Hamm family in 1992 with support from The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers). Her work includes a trough/fountain that flows into a semi-circle basin, geometric paving tiles and the walls, steps and trees.
This area is ripe for rethinking. The Metro Transit Gold Line transit stop located at the plaza will be enlarged and redesigned to better support this busy transit nexus.
The next leg of the Capital City Bikeway will be added along either Wabasha or St Peter Street. In light of these transit developments and the successful revitalization of nearby Rice Park, now is the time to reimagine Hamm Memorial Plaza as a more accessible, usable and green area in order to bring joy to downtown employees, residents and visitors.
From community input in 2015, an initial concept was developed that will be taken to the next stage in the coming two years.