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Pioneer Press building collection

Identifier: N77

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two sets of printed and bound copies of floor plans for the Pioneer Building, probably prepared for prospective occupants of the structure.


  • Creation: 1888-1890


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Historical and Biographical Notes

The Pioneer Press Building (now known as the Pioneer Building) was designed by architect Solon Beman of Chicago. It was erected in downtown St. Paul in 1888-1889 to house the offices and presses of the St. Paul Pioneer Pressnewspaper. Critic Montgomery Schuyler called the building an "uncompromising parallelopiped of brown brick [which] rears itself to the height of twelve stories" and was "eminent for the strictness with which the design conforms itself to the utilitarian conditions of the structure" when he saw it in its completed form in 1891 after four floors had been added. The building has a dramatic interior light court (the only surviving 19th century example in either Minneapolis or St. Paul) with offices arranged around it. The Pioneer Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and given local landmark status by the city of St. Paul in 1979.

Solon Beman, was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 1, 1853, and studied architecture under Richard Upjohn in New York City. In 1879 he moved to Chicago where he set up what became a large and prosperous practice. Beman designed all the buildings for the company towns of Pullman, Illinois, and Ivorydale, near Cincinnati. He also designed many prominent office and public buildings in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest. Beman died in Chicago on April 23, 1914.


0.5 Cubic Feet


Collection consists of two sets of printed and bound copies of floor plans for the Pioneer Building

Physical Location

High Bay

Additional Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Related Material in the Northwest Architectural Archives

Pioneer and Endicott building collection (N 77A)

Pioneer Press building collection
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area