Placeography:Featured place/2018-04

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216-218 Bates Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

William Schornstein and his wife, Wilhelmina, were born in Germany and immigrated directly to St. Paul in 1873. William worked as a bartender for several years before moving to the predominantly German Wilson/Bates neighborhood in 1880. In the summer of 1884, he commissioned St. Paul architect Augustus F. Gauger to design the present building,which was completed in the fall of 1884 at an estimated cost of $5000. The new Schorenstein Grocery and Saloon originally housed a grocery store in the main storefront,a saloon in the rear storefront (entry at Bates), the Schornstein's apartment on the second floor,and a meeting hall on the third floor. The one-story store attached to the west side was used by Schornstein's brother-in-law as a harness shop. Sometime after the turn of the century, the second floor was divided into two apartments. William Schornstein operated the saloon and grocery store until his retirement in 1910 when his son, Otto, assumed control of the business. In the 2000s Schornstein garage was vacant for many years. Across the street new townhouses were built.In 2014 the housing redevelopment authority of St. Paul applied for a wrecking permit for the buildings. Neighborhood residents once again united in an effort to save the Schornstein garage and several other buildings in Dayton's Bluff. Jane Prince's election to the St. Paul City Council made a positive difference in the rescue efforts. Open houses were held, rehab funds were offered by the City. In 2016, a young couple wrote a proposal for the rehab of the buildings which was accepted by St. Paul's HRA. They intend to live and work in the buildings. The Schornstein garage will be featured on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home tour on April 27-28th 2018.

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