Follow Selby Avenue west from where it begins. At Selby Avenue’s beginning, you will find remnants of the empire-building years of the late 19th-century atop Cathedral Hill. Here lived people of wealth, ambition, and ostentation. A little farther along, there are vestiges of the city’s expansion along streetcar lines.
This tour follows the streetcar line west, with short forays into the neighborhoods north and south. It has literary, architectural, and commercial features.
Those with time and transportation may want to follow Selby all the way west, outside the scope of this tour, to observe the evidence of two declines: declining density as the city spread west, and the declining fortunes of Selby Avenue as it emptied out in the 1960s and 70s – many lots remain vacant. But follow it all the way and you will, in a way, follow the path laid out by Archbishop John Ireland. The Cathedral on one end, overlooking downtown, and the University of St. Thomas on the other end near the Mississippi; the two landmarks connected by Selby Avenue.