Building Dedication & Mortgage Burning Ceremony, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties


Historic Building Officially Renamed After Community Action Former Bigelow Building Was Re-Dedicated on May 20, 2015.

ST. PAUL – On May 20, 2015, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties held a Building Dedication and Mortgage Burning Ceremony, at which time they officially renamed the former Bigelow Building at 450 Syndicate Street North in St. Paul as the Community Action Building.

Built in 1925 by St. Paul’s Brown & Bigelow Corporation, the historic building was purchased in 1996 by Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties (then known as Ramsey Action Programs). The agency relocated its headquarters to the site and also opened a new Head Start Center. In January 2015, Community Action paid off the mortgage debt used to finance the original purchase and as a result now owns the building outright. According to Executive Director, Dr. Clarence Hightower, “The ownership of the site further strengthens our financial position and affords Community Action increased flexibility in developing our future strategic plans.”

This event, which was attended by approximately 100 people, included presentations from Lee Mehrkens, Community Action Board President and Ramsey County CFO, Kevin Myren, Board Finance Committee Chair and CommonBond Communities CFO, and Kim Bailey, Head Start Teacher at Community Action’s Mt. Airy Head Start Center in east St. Paul. The festivities also included a ceremonial mortgage burning, a 20th Century American custom which is still practiced today by nonprofit organizations.

To officially dedicate the building, Community Action’s Board of Directors unveiled a new sign featuring Community Action’s name and logo on the southwest façade of the building near the main entrance. As a part of the complete renaming and rebranding process, Community Action has also added similar signage to the west and northwest parts of the building and is in the process of added signage to the canopy that hangs directly above the buildings main entrance. Additional signage will include a new tenant directory to be installed adjacent to the building’s parking lot along Syndicate Street North as well as signage in the north parking area identifying Head Start pick-up and drop-off locations.

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