Document Type

Honors Project


Reflections of Rondo is a temporal, visual exploration of the I-94 freeway’s relationship with and implications on the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota.

As a prominent center of Black community and culture since the 1900s, Rondo had a thriving, working-class population that built families, businesses, and markers of place and identity in a socially segregated city. They had built “a city within a city” that welcomed people of all backgrounds and classes.

However, with the passing of the Federal Interstate Highway Act in 1956, the state was able to move forward with their plan of building a highway that would tear through the Rondo community, demolishing over 700 family homes and closing over 300 businesses. The Rondo neighborhood was fragmented–disrupting and destroying the social and economic culture that the community spent years and decades fostering.

The story of I-94 and Rondo are one of many across the U.S. where less affluent neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color were subject to “urban revitalization” efforts at their expense. Cities like Milwaukee, Detroit, Boston, and New Orleans are among many that continue to wrestle with the deeply-ridden inequities caused by racist policies and systems.

Drawing on historical records, oral histories, and conversations with community members from Rondo, Reflections of Rondo considers the past, present, and potential futures of the neighborhood. Each artwork is inspired by conversations with community members who spoke of their fondest memories, their vividest experiences, and their most hopeful dreams of what they see Rondo to be.

In highlighting the histories of neighborhoods of color like Rondo, I hope that these artworks create spaces for reflection and conversation about conscious and equitable urban design.



© Copyright is owned by author of this document


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.