The Rondo Plaza
From 1900 until the late 50’s-early 60’s, the African-American men and women of St. Paul built churches, established business, educated their children, formed social clubs and other institutions that led the fight against the persistent racism and oppression they often encountered on their jobs and throughout the greater Saint Paul environs. Despite the social, political and economic odds stacked against them, the community that became known as Rondo survived and thrived until it became one of the 1600 black neighborhoods across America destroyed by the twin demons of urban renewal and freeway construction.
In 2013, the last two-story member of the original Rondo neighborhood family of buildings succumbed to the wrecking ball after 97 years of community service. It was preceded in destruction by more than 80 siblings throughout Rondo. As keeper of Rondo’s legacies, Rondo Avenue Inc. (RAI) organized a gathering to celebrate the history of 822 Rondo. A large turnout convinced RAI to develop a plan that would re-purpose the vacant lot as a commemorative plaza to preserve the memory of Rondo and to provide an attractive and meaningful small park.
To capture the memory of the Rondo neighborhood and to provide the community with a quiet place to reflect and heal, RAI proposed the design and construction of the The Rondo Plaza - a space for education, contemplation, inspiration, and community building. The Rondo Plaza helps all Minnesotans remember. By remembering, we create a space that stimulates dialogue around reconciliation and healing. Ultimately, the Rondo Plaza is a place of meaning, of memory, of reflection, of laughter, and of hope. It is a beacon that reminds us of what we were, what challenges we still face, and points us towards what we can become.
In the news
- 11 MarRead more
How Urban Communities are Healing in the Wake of Destruction by Transportation Infrastructure. This article appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of NAI Legacy Magazine.
- 10 MarRead more
I was delighted to hear Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz mention the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul during his inaugural address in January. While elaborating on
- 06 MarRead more
We are excited to announce that the Rondo Commemorative Plaza has been selected by the University of St. Thomas to receive the President’s Community Partner
- 01 NovRead more
In 2013, a two-story commercial building at the corner of Concordia Avenue and Fisk Street in St. Paul, overlooking I-94, went up in flames. Architecturally,
We want everyone to experience the Rondo Commemorative Plaza. We offer several ways for you to engage with us to develop the Plaza. Whether you are a student, an educator, or a business person who loves and cares about the local history, we have opportunities for you to get involved. Support the Rondo Plaza today!
Become a member of the Rondo Plaza and stand with us in creating a space that stimulates dialogue, reconciliation, and healing. As a Member, you join a community of individuals committed to advancing our mission to preserve and share Rondo’s rich history.BECOME A MEMBER TODAY
Rondo Plaza offers several ways to support our goal of preserving our local history. Your contribution will help us capture the memories of Rondo, introduce new generations to Rondo, and nurture scholarship about Rondo and African American history.DONATE TODAY
Numerous possibilities exist for donors interested making a lasting impact. The Rondo Plaza offers many ways to pay tribute to someone special. Through these select naming opportunities, you play a lasting role in ensuring the success, and vitality of The Rondo Plaza for years to come.Naming Opportunities
What community members are saying
I am really excited to bring my students to visit the Rondo Plaza! This will will be a great learning resource for our community.Elementary School Teacher
Cannot say enough about what the Rondo Plaza will bring to the community: an opportunity for new residents to learn the history and connect with others.Recent Resident of Rondo
So proud to see the progress towards healing and to have a space and place to remember the ‘good ole days’.Rondo Elder