Regardless of when you visit the Twin Cities, the St. Paul Public Library makes it easy to follow in the writer’s footsteps with the free F. Scott Fitzgerald in St. Paul Homes and Haunts self-guided walking tour. Highlights include the scribe’s birthplace at 481 Laurel Avenue and the Romanesque-style brownstone at 599 Summit (right), where he spent the summer of 1919 sequestered in a top-floor room in his parents’ apartment working on his first novel. (Both buildings are privately occupied and can only be viewed from the outside.) When Fitzgerald received word Scribner’s had made an offer on the book, he quit his job as a railroad laborer and trumpeted his literary news. “That day I quit work and ran along the streets,” he recalled, “stopping automobiles to tell friends and acquaintances about it—my novel, This Side of Paradise, was accepted for publication.”
On display in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Reading Alcove at the Central Library branch (90 West Fourth Street) is a small collection of
items related to the writer. Located in nearby Rice Park is a statue (above left) of Fitzgerald.
Tony Summit Avenue has another literary connection. Nobel Prize winner Sinclair Lewis once rented a house at number 516 in late 1917.
He intended to write about robber baron and railway magnate James J. Hill (referenced by Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby), whose red sandstone
mansion at 240 Summit gave the street the epithet “Avenue of the Barons.”