Here are some photos of Flat Stanley
visiting the 2004 Ice Palace at the Winter Carnival in Saint Paul,
1885 a New York reporter wrote that Saint Paul was "another Siberia, unfit
for human habitation" in winter. Offended by this attack on their Capital
City, the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce decided to not only prove that
Saint Paul was habitable but that its citizens were very much alive during
winter, the most dominant season. Thus was born the Saint Paul Winter
The first ice palace was made for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival in 1886,
the first year of this annual event. It was designed and built by A.C. and
J.H. Hutchison from Montreal, Canada. Due to a widespread out-break of
smallpox, Montreal's Winter Festival was cancelled and Saint Paul business
leaders were able to hire the Hutchisons to complete
Saint Paul's first ice palace.
Saint Paul Winter Carnival is the nation's oldest and coldest civic
celebration, going strong for over 114 years. The Winter Carnival takes
place during the last week of January - typically the coldest week of the
year. In 1888, the tallest building (at that time) in Saint Paul melted.
It was a 130 foot tall palace made with 55,000 blocks of ice. A popular
feature in the ice palaces of the 1800's was the number of people choosing
to get married in them. The first was George G. Brown and Eva N. Evans in
1888. Some think Eva held George to his promise that "it would be a cold
day before he got married."
The ice palace built in 1986, for the 100th anniversary of the event,
resembled the early structures in height. That ice palace's highest point
measured close to 129 feet. However, the ice palace built in 1992, the
year Minnesota hosted the Super Bowl, surpassed all other ice palaces in
height. The 1992 ice palace's tallest tower was 166 feet
and 6 inches tall and at its widest point was 249 feet. The 1992 ice
palace became the "World's Largest Ice Palace," and continues to hold that
record to this day.