Former convent and school opens as boutique hotel in Downtown St. Paul

Updated: October 30, 2019 06:16 PM

A historic building in downtown Saint Paul with a heavenly past has new life.

A former Catholic school and convent is turning into a boutique hotel.


The Celeste Saint Paul Hotel and Bar, located on Exchange Street, is opening in the former Saint Agatha's Conservatory of Music and Arts, which closed in 1961.

The hotel invited some of the sisters who lived there to be the first guests of the hotel Wednesday night.

"They told us the placement of the bed in the chapel suite was heavenly," Carl Deeken, the hotel's general manager, said. "Once we found out they were still alive and kicking, we wanted to get them in here to experience them and learn about them. We want to honor what they did."

"It was strange because I knew it would not be like it used to be," Sister Rosemary Rooney said. "Some buildings they are just torn down. Everything has to be new. Everything has to start over. I'm glad this has some purpose."

The hotel opens on Friday. They'll be giving tours over the weeekend.

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Joe Mazan

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