About the Rondo Commemorative Plaza
The Rondo Plaza is located at Fisk and Concordia - the epicenter of the Rondo Corridor. It provides a physical landmark that acknowledges the decades long downward spiral of pain and sorrow caused by the destruction of old Rondo through acts creating property dislocation, social upheaval, family separation and bouts of rage. Mourning for old Rondo is over and the existence of the Rondo Plaza is proof that the grief of those who suffered has not been forgotten but has become the fundamental spirit upon which healing and rebirth takes places. The Plaza is the starting point for a rebirth and development of a new culturally and economically significant Rondo community overcoming fragmentation, fostering partnerships among organizations, institutions and people of different races and ethnicities and making it all relevant to the new generation.
The Rondo Plaza creates both a physical landmark and virtual experience where visitors learn the story of the Rondo neighborhood and the important core values (religion, home ownership, dignity of work, necessity of social interaction, education, respect for self and others, economic self-sufficiency and hope) that sustained the community. Visitors to the Plaza learn how Rondo came to be a center for African-American life, was devastated by urban renewal and the construction of I-94, and, through historically inspired tactics, how the battle cry "We won't let the Green Line become another Rondo", uttered by a coalition of individuals, organizations and agencies was used as the basis of the successful campaign to add three critical stops along the Green Line route in St. Paul running parallel to the Rondo Corridor.
In the belief that the best way to gain knowledge is through authentic, respectful interaction, the Rondo Plaza serves as a center for artistic displays and social gatherings where youth, young adults and tourists can celebrate and learn about Rondo from dialogues and exchanges with elders who grew up in Rondo. There are comfortable benches and chairs, a will be small stage with a sound system for live lectures and musical presentations. Everyone is encouraged to submit their own stories, impressions and/or recollections about Rondo — as a way to preserve the history and continue expanding the story. Technology at the RCP will allow for an expanded audience to learn about Rondo and the Saint Paul community, showcase upcoming events to rally the community together as well as to welcome visitors to the area. Lastly, the RCP will be a gateway for the efforts to connect and interlock the on-going efforts of various groups, governmental projects and activities now underway or planned for the Rondo Corridor.