St. Andrew’s Declared Eligible for National Register of Historic Places
On March 21, 2019 the National Register Historian at the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Denis P. Gardner, informed Friends of Warrendale and Save Historic St. Andrews, LLC that his office had completed its review of the property evaluation of St. Andrew’s, and determined that the former church, and current Aula, was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture, Criterion C. "Its Romanesque Revival design is locally distinctive when contrasted with other churches employing the style. The complexity of the design is revealed in its many architectural embellishments, several of which make for an unusual design vocabulary,” Gardner reported. It may also be eligible under additional criterion for its architect, Charles A. Hausler, and for its role as an important institution in the neighborhood, Criterion A.
After review, SHPO made its determination:
“In conclusion, if a National Register nomination for St. Andrew’s Catholic Church was presented to the State Historic Preservation Review Board the SHPO believes that body would approve listing of the building in the National Register and vote to forward the nomination to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C. The Keeper makes final determinations, and it is the SHPOs view that the Keeper’s Office would conclude that the church, at a minimum, is eligible for National Register listing for its architecture.”
The former church building was determined to be eligible for local designation on a 9-1 vote by St. Paul’s Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) after a review of a report submitted by professional independent historians hired by Save Historic St. Andrews (SHSA). This level of careful research had never been done for St. Andrew’s, yet even before it was conducted many esteemed architectural historians had already singled out the building for its architecture, including the American Institute of Architects and local luminary Larry Millet, author of Lost Twin Cities.
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) conducted their own review and agreed with the HPC that the building deserved local historic designation. That meant the building was recognized as an important part of the architectural heritage of St. Paul and deserved protecting, not wrecking. SHPO then began a peer review process to determine if the building was eligible for national designation honors. They have now concluded their review with good news for anyone who values St. Paul’s architectural legacy. While this does not limit interior alterations, which the owner is free to do, it may make the building eligible for grants and other sources of funding.
Architectural historians from St. Paul to Washington D.C. now recognize the former St. Andrew’s building as architecturally special and worthy of saving for future generations, just as previous generations maintained the building for over 90 years. The Twin Cities German Immersion School should be proud to be the steward of such an important historic building. It’s an important place to St. Paul and Warrendale. We hope educators and students in our local schools celebrate this news, especially on Minnesota State History Day, which is May 4, 2019
Heritage Preservation Commission
The Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) recently voted (9-1) in favor of recommending St. Andrews as a Heritage Preservation Site. HPC, along with a team led by widely-respected architectural historian Rolf Anderson, found that St. Andrew’s met four of the seven criteria to be designated a local historic site. Historic preservation experts with whom we have consulted agree that St. Andrew’s is a gem — and that a historic designation study was warranted to determine that St. Andrew’s meets the criteria for local and national historic protection.
Click here to read the Historic Preservation submission made to the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission (October 2018).
St. Paul’s Comprehensive Plan states that historic preservation is greener and more sustainable to new development. This same plan also states that the city will “prioritize the retention of designated historic resources (or those determined eligible for historic designation) over demolition when evaluating planning and development projects that require or request City action, involvement, or funding.”
Charles Hausler was the architect of St. Andrews. He was St. Paul’s first city architect and made significant contributions to the culture and development of Saint Paul. Hausler has six buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.