James J. Hill House, St Paul, MN - 22AUG 2012

Getting a bit lost and tangled in the streets near the Summit Avenue, I was trying to make my way over to Saint Paul’s Cathedral went I ended up on a hill and saw a large eagle statue.

I noticed the houses were specular and then I spotted this mansion:  

When I saw the sign, I knew I had to take a tour:
Using three lots on Summit Avenue, the back yard once had a commanding view of downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River.
Postcard
It was completed in 1891; it was designed by Peabody, Stearns and Furber but, they were fired and it was finished by Irving and Casson.
Guard House at Front Gate
It had a hybrid system of gas and electric lighting and an elaborate burglar alarm system.
The second floor was mostly family member bedrooms, while the third floor held the servant quarters.
First floor held the art gallery, music room, hall, formal dining room and Mr. Hill’s office.
 Skylight in Gallery Room
The art gallery housed Hill’s collection of painting and sculpture.
Pipe Organ in Gallery Room
At the top of the staircase were these beautiful stain glass panels:
He turned down Lewis Comfort Tiffany Company designs for stained glass windows...
 …giving the job to A.B. Cutter and Company of Boston.
The house had been donated to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who used it for 53 years as space for offices, residences, and a teacher’s college for women.
Hand-carved woodwork in the central hallway, music room and dining room: 
Detail of  Dining Room
The house had been donated to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who used it for 53 years as space for offices, residences, and a teacher’s college for women.
 Dining Room Chair
In 1961, it was designated a National Historic Landmark; in 1978, the Minnesota Historical Society acquired the house.
Back View of House
Fortunately, the church did not make significant alterations, but most of the original furniture was sold off over the years. There is very little furniture as the historical society is keeping it authentic.
Above is the front half of the house the son built next door.