Neighbors and Parents Pitch In for January 22 Snow Emergency

After an unexpected 12" snowfall on January 22, neighbors of the Linwood Monroe Lower School were quick to see the need and help out.  Starting at 4 pm, it was clear to neighbors of the school that staff and parent cars were getting stuck.  Armed with shovels, they came to help--and then stayed until all cars were freed, checking in with school staff frequently to make sure that all needs were met. 

In the meantime, a group of parents from Randolph Heights Elementary heard that students were stuck at the school, called the school and found out that only snacks were available.  They called the McDonald's restaurant at West 7th and Jefferson, ordered 15 Happy Meals, and then picked them up and delivered them to the school before 8 pm.  Dr. Bryan F. Bass, school principal, sent a letter of thanks to these donors for their generosity.

Lori Brostrom
Announcing Our New Good Neighbor Award Winners!

On January 26, the Summit Hill Association and the City of St. Paul gave the Good Neighbor Award to these three amazing community members.  Congratulations!

Laurie McCann Crowell is owner of The Golden Fig on Grand Avenue, which opened in 2007 and continues to be the only grocery and home goods shop on the avenue selling exclusively American-made goods, featuring the full Golden Fig line as well as exceptional chocolates, cheeses, snacks, preserves, gift baskets and much more.  She was nominated for the award because of her involvement with the neighborhood and her excellent example of a locally-owned business that grows and evolves with the neighborhood it serves.

Laurie apprenticed under some of the country's top fine foods creators.  She attributes much of her gourmet appreciation to and continues to be inspired by Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten, with whom she worked in East Hampton, NY.  Voted one of the "Top 100 Minnesotans to Watch" by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, she has developed and manufactured her line of specialty foods--available in specialty shops nationwide--in Minneapolis since 1996.

Laurie stays involved in the local food scene by selling at the St. Paul Farmer's Market where she has had a stall since 1997, as well as by appearing regularly on local television program "Twin Cities Live."

Phillip McGraw is on staff with St. Paul Parks and Recreation.  He is located at the Linwood Recreation Center.  Since 2017, he has been a consistent presence in the community, providing quality programming and leading conversations on how to improve the experience of rec center guests.  Along with his team, he listened to the needs of the community.  He enjoys kids and volunteers some of his time coaching.  He believes that St. Paul is the most livable city in America.

Michael E. Murphy is a former English teacher at St. Olaf and Macalester colleges, and a retired partner from Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels).  He grew up at 1069 Fairmount Avenue and attended grade school at St. Luke's (now St. Thomas More) and graduated in 1957 from Cretin High School (now Cretin-Derham Hall).  Mike's latest collection of poems, "Songs of Crocus Hill," pays tribute to many Summit Hill memories too sweet to forget.  He writes of ice skating out under the stars at "The Olympic Skating Rink" (the flooded-and-frozen courts of the St. Paul Tennis Club) and of a yo-yo salesman doing tricks with a Duncan on the wide stoop in front of Radisky's Linwood Sweetshop at Osceola and Oxford (now a duplex).

Mike also writes  of his dad--Minnesota Supreme Court Justice William Patrick Murphy--stepping off the Grand Avenue streetcar, and of Carl Wolf, the German tailor, whose shop was at Grand and Oxford, across from Vince's Pure Oil (now All-American Auto Service).  He was nominated to honor his love of language, and for the treasure of memories he has preserved through his poetry.

Lori Brostrom
Dixie's/695 Grand Avenue Expansion Update

Dear Neighbors,

On behalf of the Summit Hill Association I want to thank Peter Kenefick, John Wolf and all the stakeholders for your engagement in our discussions about 695 Grand Avenue (Dixie's, Emmett's, Saji-Ya).  We are grateful for your trust in us as facilitators.

Peter Kenefick has reached out to let us know the property owners have determined that their expansion plans do not coincide with the desires of many of their nearby residents.  Accordingly, they have decided not to proceed with redevelopment.

Now, more than ever, I encourage you to show your support of their businesses and all of those on Grand Avenue through your patronage.

Future development of our neighborhood is an important issue.  It requires careful balancing of pragmatic business economics, property value considerations, heritage preservation, housing needs and neighborhood vibrancy.  To be sure we are setting the state for careful development and supporting our local businesses, I invite you all to complete our Neighborhood Plan Survey.  It is available on our web page.


Andrew Rorvig, President

Summit Hill Association

Lori Brostrom
Grand Avenue Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Please join us on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7 pm for the Summit Hill Association Board Meeting at the Linwood Recreation Center for a project overview by HunWen Westman, City of St. Paul Public Works.

What is happening?  The City of St. Paul will be making pedestrial safety improvements on Grand Avenue at the intersections between Hamline Avenue and Victoria Street.

When is it happening?  The street will be under construction during the summer and fall of 2018.

How will it impact you?  There will be traffic changes and road closures during construction.

How will it benefit you?  We are making the intersections safer.  We will construct curb extensions (bump outs) and upgrade traffic signals to make it easier for you to cross the street.

Curb extensions will be built at the intersections of Grand Avenue at Syndicate, Dunlap, Oxford, Chatsworth and Milton streets.  Curb extensions will reduce the width of Grand Avenue at these intersections from 54 feet to 38 feet.  This will reduce how far people must walk in the street and it will provide better sight lines between drivers on Grand Avenue and pedestrians on corners.

Parking?  No parking will be removed.  The curb extensions will be put in where it is already illegal to park.

Lori Brostrom
Community Discussion--Dixie's/Saji-Ya/Emmett's Expansion Plans

The owners of  are considering expansion plans. The scope of the project is to be determined, but may involve significant changes to the property. In advance of formal planning, the property owners and the Summit Hill Association/District 16 Planning Council invite you to a community discussion.

Tuesday, January 23, 7 pm at Dixie's, 695 Grand Avenue


Lori Brostrom