Summit Avenue - Grand Mansions and Historic Buildings
Summit Avenue has long been Saint Paul's most prestigious address and no visit would be complete without a
drive down this stately avenue, the country's longest span of intact, residential Victorian architecture.
Wrought iron gates, stained glass windows, enduring stone and brick, graceful pillars and beautifully land-
scaped gardens beckon along the avenue as it stretches 4.5 miles to the Mississippi River.
Walking tours of
Summit Avenue are offered during the summer months, courtesy of the guides of the James J. Hill House.
If time permits, you can stop for a tour of the Victorian home of the state's first territorial governor, Alexander
Ramsey, or the Sibley House, home of Minnesota's first state governor, Henry Hastings Sibley. You can also
make an appointment to see the present day Governor's mansion located on Summit Avenue. The mansion
features gracefully curved stairways and beautifully hand-carved woodwork. Take a peek on a free, one-hour
guided tour, but make sure you call for an appointment.
James J. Hill Mansion
In 1891 'Empire Builder' James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern
Railroad, graced 240 Summit with the largest mansion in the Midwest. The
intricate woodcarvings, stained glass windows, two-story pipe organ, 22
fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, cut-glass chandeliers and a two-story art gallery
suitably impressed Hill's wealthy visitors. Today's visitors are equally
The James J. Hill Mansion