Explore the Historic Summit Avenue Neighborhood and Discover Hidden History at the James J. Hill House this June

For immediate release

Release dated: 
May 1, 2013
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 • megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 • jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Craig Johnson • James J. Hill House • 651-296-9396 • craig.johnson@mnhs.org

Quick facts: 

Place: James J. Hill House
Address: 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul MN 55102
Cost: Tours: $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.
Phone: 651-297-2555
Email: hillhouse@mnhs.org
Website: http://www.mnhs.org/hillhouse

Explore the Historic Summit Avenue Neighborhood and Discover Hidden History at the James J. Hill House this June

In addition to the great programs at the James J. Hill House, be sure to visit the upcoming exhibit, "Other Realities: The Art of Paul S. Kramer," opening June 29. Paul Kramer was a well known St. Paul artist, conservator and gallery owner who passed away in August of 2012. "Other Realities" surveys his 50-plus year career as an artist and creative enthusiast.

What: Summit Avenue Walking Tours
When: Saturdays and Sundays May through Sept.
Time: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
Cost: $12 adults, $10 seniors and college students, $8 children ages 6-17; $2 discount for MHS members. Library passes not accepted for these tours.
Reservations: Recommended; call 651-297-2555

Summit AvenueSummer is right around the corner and and the popular Summit Avenue walking tours are back. These 90-minute tours, held every Saturday and Sunday from May to September, highlight the Gilded-Age mansions that line the Summit Avenue, named one of America's "Great Streets" in 2008.

Guides will talk about the architecture, social history, current preservation issues and elite people who owned the impressive abodes of the historic neighborhood. The tour covers 1.5 miles starting at the James J. Hill House, proceeding west on Summit Avenue, returning via side streets and alleyways and concluding outside the Cathedral of St. Paul. All areas are handicapped accessible, but some side streets are cobblestone and have historic stone curbs. Call for group tour information.

What: Nooks and Crannies Tour
When: Tuesday June 4, 11,18 and 25
Time: 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.
Cost: $12 adults, $10 seniors and college students, $8 children ages 6-17; $2 discount for MHS members.
Reservations: Recommended; call 651-297-2555

StaircasePull back the Victorian curtains and take a behind-the-scenes look inside the James J. Hill House. This 90-minute tour showcases rarely-seen aspects of the Hill House, like the back staircases, dust chutes, silver vault, top-floor attic with original theater, storage areas and more.

Guides will discuss the technological innovations present in the house at the time of its construction in the late 19th century and the difficulties of preserving such a building today. The 7 p.m. tour will be led by a costumed interpreter portraying one of the construction workers who built the house or one of the servants who worked in the house.

Group size is limited for these tours; make sure to make reservations early. These tours are held every Tuesday evening in June.

About the James J. Hill House

Completed in 1891, the Gilded Age mansion was the residence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway, and his family. The home is located one-half block west of the Cathedral of St. Paul at 240 Summit Avenue. It is open for regular tours year-round, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sundays. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 651-297-2555.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.