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“Great piece of history”
Review of James J Hill House

James J Hill House
Ranked #4 of 125 things to do in Saint Paul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Rugged stone, massive scale, fine detail and ingenious mechanical systems recall the powerful presence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway. Guides lead tours that help you imagine family and servant life in the Gilded Age mansion, the setting of the public and private lives of the Hill family. The James J. Hill House is a National Historic Landmark. The home also includes an art gallery, which features work from the Minnesota Historical Society's collections.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The James J HIll house is a nice place to take a tour. The tour guides are well informed and keep you entertained. I have been there many times and each time I hear/see something that I didn't see before. At Christmas they do a program with actors - it is fabulous but make reservations for it.

Thank burkehouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 - 347 of 403 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

I was visiting my daughter who just moved down the street from the mansion before Christmas. She had heard that the tour would be fun. It really was fun because the tour guides who changed as the tour went along were acting the parts of various house staff and doing a good job of it. The tour which could have been stuffy and boring was entertaining with bits of humor interjected. At the time we went the people in the tour were treated as though we were applying for a maid job. The actors took us through the main floor and downstairs and gave the flavor of what living as help was like at the time. I'm really into Downton Abbey right now and this made me feel as though we were living in the time. The tour took about 1 hour and I think even children would be kept occupied by the actor staff which did a very good job. I will go again on another visit to see if the senario changes and if we can see the upstairs rooms.

Thank Sparky333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Loved the house and the tour. My five-year-old loved it, too. At 36,000 square feet, it's about twenty times the size of my house, but as big as it was, it didn't "feel" overwhelming. Not really. Learning about the house on the tour made me quite interested in learning more about Hill himself. He sounds like a driven man, although he might not have always been a "nice" man in some respects. I look forward to going back to the Hill Mansion for special events, including the "Nooks and Crannies" tour offered in the summer.

Another reviewer mentioned that she didn't like the art being currently displayed in the Art Room of the mansion. Keep in mind that the art was created by Native American artists responding to the events of the 1862 conflict. So yes, it's rather political. And some of it is rather "graphic." Nevertheless, down-rating the Mansion simply because of the art currently on exhibit seems rather silly to me. Good art, after all, should make you stop and think. How many of us stop and think about past U.S./Native American relations (assuming we're not Native American ourselves)?

2  Thank fish1861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

It's interesting to see ONCE. If I were curating there I would see to it that the former art held art again. Places like the Hearst castle and such bore me. IF a place has a real sense of life once lived in it like the Condon Mansion of Hyde Park I like to return but this place is a wealthy mausoleum.

Thank Dorothy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

The James J Hill house is St Paul's Downton Abbey, the family lived about the same time as the TV series takes place. The Hill's may not have been English aristocrats, but they were in Minnesota and lived like they were. The mansion tour will show the difference between the help and the family.

Thank MaddyLO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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