Another World

There is a stretch of Summit Avenue in St. Paul that is lined with mansions that harken back to an era of of conspicuous opulence. The JJ Hill House is certainly an example. Completed in 1891, it was known as the “showcase of St. Paul.” Today it is no longer inhabited but is instead open to visitors.

This photo is a detail of the grand staircase that leads from the foyer to the second floor. Everything you see here was hand carved by meticulous craftsmen and the detail is amazing.

I wonder how often they have to dust all of the woodwork?

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  1. The trip we took with you and Mr Beste to visit the Hill House and the MIA was one of my favorite high school experiences. I remember the tour guide telling us that Summit Avenue was “America’s last grand avenue.” The story of James Hill coincides with other giants of business at the beginning of the 20th century and I was fascinated that one such giant could make it big in the midwest.
    I also remember losing Mr Beste and backing up on the narrow street divided by a grassy boulevard into the driveway of another imposing house…

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