Explore Historic Summit Avenue and the James J. Hill House this July

For immediate release

Release dated: 
June 5, 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 Historic Summit Avenue and the James J. Hill House this July

Explore the interior of the James J. Hill House as well as the neighborhood surrounding it. The Nooks and Crannies Tour offers guests an in-depth look at areas not usually open to the public, while the Summit Avenue Walking Tour provides information on the history and architecture of the historic neighborhood.

What: Nooks and Crannies Tour
When: Tuesday, July 2 (Every Tuesdays in July)
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

Hill House 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 such as 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 the tours so be sure to make reservations early. These tours are held every Tuesday evening in June.

What: Summit Avenue Walking Tours
When: Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 (Every weekend 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.
Reservations: Recommended; call 651-297-2555

Summit AvenueSummer is here and and so are Summit Avenue walking tours. 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.

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.