Homemade ice palace in St. Paul destroyed by vandals


Ice castles are meant to be temporary but Gary Pruitt thinks the one he built would have lasted until May. If not for a couple of golf club-wielding vandals who brought the 10-foot tall castle tumbling down before President's Day.

The Pioneer Press has the story of the homemade ice castle that took two months to build and far less time to destroy. Pruitt tells the newspaper he heard a commotion in his yard at 4 a.m. on Saturday and saw two boys he estimates were 10 to 14 years old. The kids took off running after he yelled at them, he says, but by then the palace – 50 feet long and made with 700 blocks of ice – was in ruins.

Pruitt tells the Pioneer Press his project was inspired by the ice palace of St. Paul's 1992 Winter Carnival, which is featured in a poster that hangs in Pruitt's home. He says he started filling milk jugs and shoe boxes with tap water in December to form the bricks. He built a castle out of them during this year's Carnival and shined lights on it to make the castle glow.

That 1992 palace was on Harriet Island and was enjoyed by many visitors who came to the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl that winter. The Winter Carnival has a page devoted to its ice palace legacy.

Gary Pruitt tells the Pioneer Press he decided against trying to rebuild his homemade ice castle and instead used a sledgehammer to finish its removal.

But in addition to photographs there is another remnant in his possession. It seems that, like Cinderella fleeing the ball, one of the young vandals lost a shoe as he scurried away from the scene.

"The shoe's my war trophy," Pruitt tells the paper. "I'm thinking of bronzing it and putting it on my roof."

Next Up

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Lindsay Whalen

Whalen's Gophers start season with only 7 players available

Whalen isn't happy that a transfer wasn't granted immediate eligibility to play.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.21.08 AM

Baby steals the show in Minnesota family's viral TikTok video

Definitely busting out that wobbly baby move at the next party...