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Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:58 AM   #1
Somnifor
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Guilded era splendor | Cathedral Hill in St Paul, Minnesota

It has been a long time since I did a neighborhood tour. This is the 19th century mansion district of St Paul, it covers about 50 square blocks and is largely intact. It is the most architectually significant neighborhood in Minnesota. It was home to robber barron James J Hill who built the Northen Pacific railway which connected the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and was the birthplace and childhood home of author F. Scott Fitzgerald and civil rights leader Roy Wilkins.

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stpapr201156 by afsmps, on Flickr

The James J Hill mansion:

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stpapr201157 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpapr201159 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpapr201158 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpapr201163 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpapr201170 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpapr201192 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpapr201193 by afsmps, on Flickr

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Some of the view from the hill:

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stpmay201111 by afsmps, on Flickr

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stpmay201140 by afsmps, on Flickr

Last edited by Somnifor; May 3rd, 2011 at 06:23 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 09:59 PM   #2
WaterOnMars
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Those are really nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 11:23 PM   #3
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nice neighborhood of beautiful mansions.
did you mean rubber baron James J Hill?
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Old May 4th, 2011, 01:48 AM   #4
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Splendid tour - ta very much!
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Old May 4th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #5
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Those houses are really great
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:00 AM   #6
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Wow, I was under the impression that Minneapolis was themore impressive of the twin cities. Looks like I might have to do more research. These photos are beautiful and really illustrate the morose yet elegant and slightly creepy vibe of this neighborhood. How much of St paul is like this?
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Old May 6th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #7
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wow, this is one affluent neighborhood of stately mansions.
thanks for the effort.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #8
Somnifor
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Thanks for the comments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorn2000 View Post
nice neighborhood of beautiful mansions.
did you mean rubber baron James J Hill?
Robber barron was the term for late 19th century industrialists in the US, due to the amount of corruption and monopoly capitalism in that era.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suffice View Post
Wow, I was under the impression that Minneapolis was themore impressive of the twin cities. Looks like I might have to do more research. These photos are beautiful and really illustrate the morose yet elegant and slightly creepy vibe of this neighborhood. How much of St paul is like this?
Minneapolis is the more happening of the twin cities but St Paul is older and better preserved. Cathedral Hill is only about 5% of the city at most but a lot of the rest of the city is nice too, but not as grandiose. The neighborhoods west of Cathedral Hill are not quite as upscale and not quite as old but they are still similar, they make up about 20% of the city. One of the things that makes this part of St Paul interesting is that starting at the cathedral and moving west you can see the evolution of American architecture from 1870 to the depression progressively unfolding over the course of about 4 miles. Once you get past the victorian stuff there are a lot of early 20th century gems of the prairie school and midwestern vernacular styles.

It is interesting that you should mention the slightly creepy vibe of the neighborhood. Some of the houses here are supposedly haunted if you believe in that sort of thing, this one is the most famous (and it is for sale if you want it):

image hosted on flickr

stpmay201133 by afsmps, on Flickr

Some history on the house:

http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/...gs_mansion.cfm

Last edited by Somnifor; May 6th, 2011 at 10:47 AM.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnifor View Post

Robber barron was the term for late 19th century industrialists in the US, due to the amount of corruption and monopoly capitalism in that era.
oh, so you're correct after all, my bad.
James J. Hill was never into rubber business but into railroad mainly.
I opined he was one shrewd monopolistic capitalist.

http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_J._Hill
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #10
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Beautiful houses. Thanks man!!!!
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Old May 7th, 2011, 04:57 AM   #11
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Great!
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Old June 10th, 2011, 03:19 AM   #12
Suffice
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@ Somnifor:

Thank you for the reply. At this point in my life, I could only dream of being able to afford a dwelling like this. This coming fall, Grad School and massive student loans await me in the city of New York.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 02:19 AM   #13
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It's a very beautiful neighborhood. Casually, I visited it with Google Street View one year ago. :P
Those houses are amazing! The Cathedral is amazing too. The place looks very intact and preserved.

(sorry for my english jeje)

Es un barrio muy lindo! Por casualidad, lo visité en Google Street View hace un año. :P
Esas casas son increíbles! La Catedral es increíble también.
La zona parece muy bien conservada, eso me gustó también!
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Old June 11th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #14
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great place
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Old March 1st, 2012, 07:31 PM   #15
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This is indeed a great neighborhood. You mentioned that F. Scott Fitzgerald grew up here. Also, author Sinclair Lewis lived right on Summit Ave. for a number of years as did playwright August Wilson. Garrison Keillor also lived here, but moved out to the countryside to maintain his privacy.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 11:46 PM   #16
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I love the charm of the old St. Paul specially those character houses.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 02:13 PM   #17
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great collection of beautiful pics on this thread, more please...
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