The Hamm Building, originally owned by the Hamm Brewing family, was built in 1919 [though I've researched 1915 and 1920 as the built date]. The building rests on the original site of the St Paul Cathedral where there is a natural spring well, perfect for hand crafted beer. The Hamm Building is now on the National Register of Historic Places. From the documents I've read, the building housed one of the city's biggest illeagal gambling operations in the late 1920's to early 1930's. Today, the Hamm Building's main function is office space.
It looks very large. Maybe a great place for apartments or condos.
office space, yes, but also Great Waters Brewery. a great little restaurant! and hymie's haberdashery, a back-in-time men's clothing store.
I've been to Great Waters Brewery a couple of times, it's a great place to eat and try their homemade brew.
I may have misinterpreted your comment but this building has always been an office building (see its entry in the National Register of Historic Places). The (former) Hamm's Brewery is on E. Minnehaha.
di - I was reading a lot of conflicting information about the Hamm building and it's history. I'm just re-reading one of my sources, and I wasn't really clear in my wording. There is a natural spring, but Great Waters Brewery is actually making beer at the site, it was never a brewery for Hamm's Beer.
But yes, what I did read was it's been used for office space and a theater in it's very early years.
Larry Millet's new AIA Guide to the Twin Cities addresses the confusion about the dates:
p. 338 "Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter St.; Toltz, King, and Day with Roy Child Jones, 1920 / restored, Oertel Architects and ESG Architects, 1998.
"This office building was supposed to be a department store for Mannheimer Brothers, once a prominent St. Paul retailer. After the steel frame was completed in 1915, however, construction suddenly stopped for reasons that are (sic) clear. The metal skeleton stood like a giant abstract sculpture in the heart of downtown until 1919, when William Hamm of the brewing family stepped forward to complete the building as an office structure. ...
"The building's basement once included a bowling alley and recreation center that also served as a popular gambling den in the 1920s. ...
Before the Hamm Building appeared, its site was occupied by the third St. Paul Cathedral, built in 1858. More impressive architecturally was the bishop's residence, complete next door along Sixth St. in 1860. The Italian Villa-style mansion cost $15,000 and was probably the most lavish home of its time in St. Paul. Like the old cathedral, it was demolished in 1914."
Ahhh! Now that explains a lot on the many dates I was reading. Thanks for this information.
I've always enjoyed learning about St Paul's history [as I grew up very close to downtown St Paul], but I'm realizing there is a lot to be discovered.
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