James J. Hill House

James J Hill House.

The Gilded Age mansion of "The Empire Builder"

James J Hill House.

The Gilded Age mansion of
"The Empire Builder"

Explore upstairs and downstairs life in Minnesota's Downton Abbey — a 36,000-square-foot mansion built for railroad titan James J. Hill.

Tour group standing outside front of James J. Hill House

What to see and do

Holiday house tours.

Holidays on the Hill

Thursday through Sunday, November 26 – December 31, 2021

Experience Christmas in 1910—both upstairs and downstairs—in the sumptuous Gilded Age mansion of railroad titan James J. Hill.

Admission includes self-guided access to holiday-themed exhibits and a 60-minute guided tour highlighting holiday stories and memories from both the Hill family and their staff.

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Guided House Tours.

Guided house tours

Thursday through Sunday, January - November

Learn about James J. Hill’s influence on the region and about his network of family members, servants, workers, and guests. Marvel at the impressive house details such as chandeliers, stained glass, and hand-carved woodwork sprawled throughout the home. Admission includes self-guided access to the first floor of the mansion and a 60-minute guided tour of the entire house. Last tour is at 3:30 pm.

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The largest house in St. Paul

The rugged stone, massive scale, fine detail, and ingenious mechanical systems of this magnificent Gilded Age mansion recall the powerful presence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway.

With 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, 16 chandeliers, a reception hall nearly 100 feet long, sophisticated technical systems, and a two-story, skylit art gallery, it was once the largest private residence in the state.

The home served as the center for the public and private lives of the Hill family for 30 years. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Exterior photo of the front house, from the northwest corner