CLARENCE WIGINGTON PAVILLION

St. Paul, Minnesota

This project is part of the overall plan to reconnect the city of Saint Paul to its historic river front.  The project was completed in a collaboration that included Rafferty Rafferty Tollefson Lindeke Architects, the landscape firm Wallace Roberts & Todd, and Michael Graves.

The pavilion was built in 1942 by the WPA and designed by Clarence Wigington, a significant and pioneering African American architect.  The Pavilion acts not only as a gathering space, but also as a gateway to the Mississippi River.   The building orients itself parallel to the shoreline, placing its main doors to symbolically greet the river and city while being inviting to the west side neighborhoods. The project consisted of new roofing, new doors, new windows, interior painting, accessibility, and new mechanical/electrical systems.  The scope of work also made the building more resistant to flooding and more usable in the winter.  A new fireplace was added to the interior and a “Grand Terrace” was built on the exterior (designed to integrate the pavilion with the “Great Lawn” and “Riverwalk” of Harriet Island Regional Park).