While somewhat nondescript on the outside, The St. Paul City Hall/Ramsey County Courthouse belies one of the most eccentric yet breathtaking pieces of art you may ever see.
As you enter and move past security, the first thing you notice is the Art-deco theme is continued in the building’s interior. Everything is encased in black marble with Bronze and Copper trim. As you enter into the lobby area, you first notice a glowing white flame. As you make your approach, you see that this white illuminating object is actually a statue, a statue that seems to be getting bigger with your every step until you realize that the statue is in fact over three stories tall.
The significance of the god/vision of peace as a centerpiece for the lobby was the intent of city officials to honor their citizens who were killed in conflict during wars of the twentieth century. A contest was held and Carl Milles statue was selected, Some of the other entries included a doughboy and of course the eponymous Saint Paul.
Given to the fact that the runners-up were statues of a soldier and Saint Paul himself, the choice of this statue may seem controversial r at least eccentric. But as you stand within this solemn and sacred place and see the glowing face of peace, the choice seems a brilliant one. The Cityhall/courthouse complex is open weekdays and is of course, free to visit.