Here’s a look at West St. Paul from aerial photos ranging over 80 years from 1940 to 2020. You can see how the city transformed from farmland to a first-ring suburb.
The first image is from 1940, and you can see the large swaths of farmland that made up West St. Paul. A lot of the roads aren’t fully there. It looks like the Southview Country Club is there, but otherwise the development is definitely concentrated in the northern quarter. You can spot some of the early schools, including Sibley, Dodd, and Emerson. City Hall also looks kind of lonely on Robert Street (it used to be located where Firestone is now)
The second image is from 1957, and you can see how the post-war housing boom reshaped a lot of that farmland. The first iteration of the Signal Hills malls is complete, but Robert Street south of Moreland is pretty empty. Garlough is there, but Moreland hasn’t been built yet.
Finally, we come to the third image from 2020 (well, Google says it’s 2020, but it’s probably 2019—Wentworth is all torn up and still not repaved). Now we’re a fully developed city. Notice how obscured many of the houses and streets are by the mature trees. There’s also a lot of asphalt around Robert Street. The preserved bits of green space are also pretty obvious. There’s also the major addition of Highway 52 on the eastern border.
Click the images to see larger versions.
Here’s a comparison of 1940 and 2020:
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