James J. Hill House is a Popular Tourist Attraction and the Largest Home in Minnesota
With 36,000 square feet of living space the James J. Hill House in Saint Paul is the largest home in Minnesota and one of the largest homes in the United States. This magnificent mansion home is open to the public today and is a popular tourist attraction in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
James J. Hill was a millionaire railroad magnate who ran the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway which combined had over 1,700 miles of railroad tracks spanning and serving the Midwest, Great Plains and Northwest parts of the United States. Hill was fabulously wealthy and in order to showcase his wealth he bought land on top of Summit Avenue with commanding views of the city of Saint Paul and the Mississippi River in 1882 and hired architects to design his mansion.
The James J. Hill House was completed in 1891 in Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. Built using mainly stone the massive 36,000 square foot 42 room home can easily be called a castle. Hill spared no expense in building his dream home.
The interior of the James J. Hill House contains beautifully carved woodwork including a grand staircase, stained glass, 22 fireplaces and a 3 story pipe organ. The Hill family lived in the home until the early 1920's and in 1925 donated the house to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The church used the James J. Hill House as office space and a college for women until 1978 when it sold the home to the Minnesota Historical Society.
The Minnesota Historical Society restored the largest home in Minnesota to its original look and added an art gallery and today the James J. Hill House is open for tours and is a popular tourist attraction in Minnesota. Costumed actors also present Victorian Ghost Story readings in the mansion and the art galley features many different changing art exhibits.
The James J. Hill House is located at 240 Summit Ave in Saint Paul, Minnesota about 1/2 block west of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Tours of the home are offered Wednesdays through Sundays and the art gallery is open 7 days a week.
For more see Beautiful Castles in Minnesota