Lowertown is the oldest part of Saint Paul. The area’s name comes from the fact that it was originally the lower landing on the Mississippi River, providing the first port of access to the Twin Cities, from the river. From the 1800s to the 1920s, a variety of warehouse, railroad, banking and distribution centers served a bustling community of commerce in Lowertown. Over time, many of these buildings fell into disrepair and disuse.
That began to change in the 1970s, when civic and private investment began to transform unoccupied warehouses, parking lots, and the non-operational Union Depot into use again. Today, the area features a variety of retail businesses, apartments, condominiums and entertainment destinations, many of which center around the arts – hence the term, “Artist District.”
The Lowertown Artist District Green Line station is located at the Union Depot. The Union Depot, now restored to its 1920s splendor, is also home to the Twin Cities Amtrak station and an extensive network of buses, such as Jefferson Lines, Greyhound and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority.