In the 1930’s Rondo Avenue was the epicenter of the Black community in Saint Paul. Hundreds of Black homes and businesses created a bustling and thriving community in the Rondo Neighborhood. In the 1960’s I-94 was built, tearing through this community and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses.
Not only was the hub of the Black community destroyed to make way for the I-94 project, those owners of these businesses and homes were not fairly compensated for what was demolished, “when the state highway department decided to demolish a huge swatch of the neighborhood to make room for I-94, the men were only paid a fraction of the buildings' value.” Marvin Anderson, Board Chair of the ReConnect Rondo project, explained to the Minnesota House Transportation and Finance Policy Committee meeting last month.
The ReConnect Rondo project works to right those wrongs. Specifically, the project plans to create a land bridge that would sit on top of I-94 for several blocks, offering space for new homes, retail & office, restaurants, and more.
The ReConnect Rondo project is an opportunity to rectify the injustice that occurred more than 50 years ago, while improving the area and providing long term economic stimulus to Saint Paul, the Twin Cities, and the entire state of Minnesota.
Additionally, the land bridge would serve as a symbol of inclusion and reconciliation.
Check out their website here: https://reconnectrondo.com/