Landmark Center - HauntedHouses.com
75 West Fifth Street
The impressive looking Landmark Center can be found in downtown Saint Paul, presiding over the north end of the historic Rice Park. The Landmark Center is across the street from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Saint Paul Public Library and the Saint Paul Hotel. Parking can be a little challenging so it is best if you visit saintpaulparking.com.
DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY:
The Landmark Center has been called, “Saint Paul’s very own fairly tale castle", the masterpiece of local architects, including James Knox Taylor and Edward P. Bassford at various stages, with Cass Gilbert who supervised part of the construction. Built around the turn-of-the-century at the cost of $2.5 million, This "work of art in architecture" opened in 1902 to house the post office, the custom house and the Federal Courts for the county. Eventually, all of the Federal offices in the upper mid-west moved into this roomy, classic building.
In 1967, the federal offices moved into a new federal building. By this time, The Landmark Center building was a real fixer upper opportunity, in need of a lot of repair with a huge price tag associated with it. So this building in 1970 was given a date with the wrecking ball.
Luckily for us all, the community banded together, determined to raise funds to repair and restore this glorious building inside and out. Their goal was met J.I.T., just one week before the building was scheduled to be torn down. The award-winning restoration which was the result, made the interior of the building shine with its original flooring and architectural designs, minus the green paint, false ceiling and other remodeling additions done during the time it was used as the Federal office building and post office.
Now, The Landmark Center is under the watchful eye of Minnesota Landmarks, a nonprofit organization which makes sure Landmark Center is managed and maintained as a cultural arts center.
From the outside, The Landmark Center reminds the visitor very much of a European castle; an impressive building, complete with clock and bell towers, steep roofs, classy decor etc., which takes up the whole block between 5th and 6th Street. It is truly a glorious 4 story building, both outside and inside, made with the finest materials.
Entering 6th street entrance, one enters the Hamm Foyer, which has lovely marble tile.
After entering the building on the first floor, one goes into the Cortile, which is an internal courtyard inspired by the Italian concept popular in the Renaissance period. From this tiled courtyard, which runs the entire length of the building, one can see the other 3 stories & their hallways all held up by ornate Roman columns, which go all around the courtyard. Rooms on each floor are found off their prospective hallways. Looking straight up, one sees a lovely, open skylight. The Cortile has marble wainscotting, ornate columns and even some potted trees. The Cortile area is used for large events, such as festivals, large social events and dances.
The 4 storied, beautiful Landmark Center is described as being a downtown St. Paul cultural center. From the basement to the top floor, one finds many of St. Paul's arts and cultural non-profit agencies, responsible for a diverse program of performing and visual arts and civic activities.
second Floor 226
North First Floor
Basement Level & second Floor 201
Landmark Center Archive Gallery
The Frederick King Weyerhaeuser Auditorium
The Ramsey County Courtroom: #317
The Detention Room was just down the hall, room 324, which is now an office, held such unsavory characters which had a date to meet justice in The Ramsey County Courtroom.
The Butler Room: Courtroom #326
The Sanborn Room: Courtroom #408
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
Jack Peifer was formerly a carnival worker and a bellhop before he started working for gangsters, which he saw as a way of getting ahead. At one point, he ran a St. Paul speak-easy on Mississippi River Boulevard, during prohibition, probably set up in business by his unsavory friends. He landed a plush job of laundering money as a banker for the underworld.
He crossed the line into real trouble when he joined the violent Barker/Karpis gang, and wound up being a lead figure in two kidnappings: William Hamm (of Hamm’s Beer) in June 1933, and Edward Bremer, a banker, in January 1934. The gang raked in a total of 300,000 clams! However, a high priority was placed in capturing them, because Edward Bremer Sr. was a friend of President Roosevelt. Jack Peifer tried to talk "Doc" out of this later caper, but he didn't win that argument. He was caught along with "Doc," and Alvin "Creepy" Karpis, and was convicted in room #317 of his involvement. After Charles Lindbergh’s son's kidnapping and death in 1932, tough new penalties were created for this type of crime. Jack was facing stiff new penalties for his involvement, with plenty of hard time ahead of him: 30 years in Leavenworth Prison. Jack Peifer couldn't face it and killed himself in his jail cell, by swallowing potassium cyanide.
The entity of Jack Peifer is described as being a little bit of a rascal, and a little menacing; A character who enjoys "girls, gin, parties and the third floor.''
Oh yes indeed! Gangsters convicted of their crimes are not happy souls, alive or dead. Many witnesses have experienced paranormal activities. Perhaps whoever is haunting the building is not ready to leave this life or are afraid to go to the other side.
The entity of Jack Peifer is probably still kicking himself for not bowing out of the last kidnapping caper, letting the arrogance of the others to overpower his better judgment.
THE MINNESOTA ROAD GUIDE TO HAUNTED LOCATIONS