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Episode Info:

A blurry photo of the panel.

Welcome to the podcast, Episode 116: Saint Paul 1978 with George Latimer, Jerry Mathiason, and David Lanagren.

Today I have a fun conversation for you that I taped back in May. The chat took place between former Saint Paul mayor George Latimer, photographer Jerry Mathiason, and Macalester Geography professor David Lanagren that took place at the Landmark Center as part of an exhibition of Mathaison’s photographs from downtown Saint Paul in 1978. Saint Paul 1978, a year before I was born, has always fascinated me. Looking at the old pictures, is to see a very different Saint Paul, vast empty lots, 70s era urban squalor, sidewalks and streets designed around cars intermingling with historic pre-war people-centered architecture. It’s fascinating, and thinking about this period of time in American cities is something I greatly enjoy.

Thanks to the Ramsey County Historical Society and the Landmark Center museum for hosting the forum and allowing me to tape the proceedings. The chat was about an hour long and full of interesting tidbits about Saint Paul history, downtowns in the 1970s, economic development schemes like the never-built Saint Paul “people mover”, and more. I hope you enjoy it.

Here’s a link to the audio, with some of Mathiason’s 1978 photos appended below.

The podcast is sponsored by Nate Pentz, so thanks to him!

Nate Pentz is realtor with Pentz Homes at Keller Williams Classic Realty NW. You can start your own home search at and if you have any questions about the buying or selling process shoot him a message at or call 612.308.1122.

[Photos continue.]


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