In this article, we shall be talking about the various landmarks near the city of West Saint Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately, it appears that there are no landmarks within the city, but do not fret, just a few walks away from this city, there are other landmarks, and thus, we shall talk about those close to the city instead.
The James J. Hill House in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, was built by railroad magnate James J. Hill. The house, completed in 1891, is near the eastern end of Summit Avenue near the Cathedral of Saint Paul. The house, for its time, was very large and was the “showcase of St. Paul” until James J. Hill’s death in 1916. It is listed as a U.S. National Historic Landmark, operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. It is also a contributing property to the Historic Hill District.
The home has 36,000 square feet (3,344 square meters) of living area and 44,552 square feet of total space.
Hill bought three lots on Summit Avenue in 1882, during an era when wealthy citizens were scrambling to build fashionable homes in the neighborhood. The street offered a commanding view of downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River area, making it a highly desirable location. The family previously lived in the Lowertown area in St. Paul, near Ninth and Canada streets. As new warehouses and railroad tracks crowded the Lowertown residential area, and as Hill’s collection of paintings and sculpture overflowed the house, the Hill family thought it was desirable to move. Hill also realized that recent improvements in home technology, such as electric lighting, plumbing, ventilation, and fireproofing, could be incorporated into a new home. Moreover, since Hill was becoming a socially prominent person in the community, a new home would stand as a tribute to his status as the “Empire Builder”.
The house was designed by an East Coast architectural firm, Peabody, Stearns, and Furber, at a time when other homes in the neighborhood were designed by local architects such as Clarence Johnston and Cass Gilbert. The house was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, with a massive, rugged style featuring randomly sized blocks of stone, sturdy pillars, rounded arches, and a generally strong horizontal emphasis. Hill supervised the design and construction closely. As an example, when the Lewis Comfort Tiffany Company submitted designs for the stained-glass windows, Hill replied that they were, “anything but what I want,” and the job went to A.B. Cutter and Company of Boston. Later, in 1889, Hill fired the architects because they had overridden his orders to the stonecutters in Massachusetts and hired the Boston firm of Irving and Casson to finish the project. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reviewed the house just before it was completed in 1891, saying:
Solid, substantial, roomy, and comfortable is the new home of James J. Hill and family. … There has been no attempt at display, no desire to flaunt an advertisement of wealth in the eyes of the world. Just a family home … impressive, fine, even grand in the simplicity of design, but after all a St. Paul home.
The Cathedral of Saint Paul is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. It is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis; the Co-Cathedral is the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. One of the most distinctive cathedrals in the United States, it sits on Cathedral Hill overlooking downtown St. Paul and features a distinctive copper-clad dome. It is the third largest completed church in the United States, and the fourth tallest. It is dedicated to Paul the Apostle, who is also the namesake of the City of St. Paul. The current building opened in 1915 as the fourth cathedral of the archdiocese to bear this name. On March 25, 2009, it was designated as the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican.