On one of my brick treks this past summer, I had the opportunity to stop through Faribault, Minnesota. Like many cities in Minnesota, Faribault is situated near a busy interstate highway. I have traveled on all the main roads around Minnesota, and you usually get very little feel for an area unless you pull off these main roads. This is true as well for Faribault, Minnesota, which lies on Interstate 35. Interstate 35 was built along the western edge of Faribault, so you really get no idea of what the area has to offer unless you get off the interstate.
I did just that, I pulled off Interstate 35 at Faribault and found the typical urban spawl situation. Quite a bit of new development has occurred around the exits off Interstate 35, but this is well away from the original downtown. I kept driving, hoping to find the original downtown area and see what it looked like. To my surprise, when I finally found it, downtown Faribault, Minnesota, looks much like downtown New Ulm, Minnesota. These cities look very much like they did fifty to one hundred years ago. You almost feel like you are going back in time. Crookston, Minnesota, also has a similar feel to me. For some good reason, these cities have preserved their histories well.
The following pictures were taken along different stretches of downtown Faribault. There are several streets that are lined with very neat and architecturally stunning old brick buildings. Just about every color of brick you can imagine can be found here. And the area is hopping! Faribault has found a way to make old and new co-exist in a way that still works. The old depot building is being used as a fancy bar and restaurant in a very scenic location. Trains still run by at fairly fast speeds, adding to the ambience. Neat old advertising is painted onto some of the old brick buildings and the brickwork is spectacular. I think Faribault is a perfect example of a working solution to an old downtown area.
I am also a hockey fan, as I live in a town where hockey is huge. Therefore, I have heard the name “Shattuck-St. Mary’s School” for a number of years. Many famous college and professional hockey players have attended this private preparatory school. The campus is found at the top of the bluffs overlooking Faribault in a beautiful location. The scope and design of the campus remind me of a college campus. The buildings are very beautiful and well designed and the landscaping is breathtaking. Shown below are a few photographs I took of the school and campus. Overall, I recommend stopping at Faribault to check out their history and brick buildings. If you plan your weekend around the Rice County Fair, you will have another fun thing to do while you are there!