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James J. Hill House plans

Summary Information
Title: James J. Hill House plans
Dates: 1889-1890
Creator: Peabody, Robert Swain, 1845-1917 and Stearns, John Goddard, d. 1917
Extent: 0.5 cubic feet
Location: High Bay
Language: English
Collection Number: N 27
Collection contains the floor plans for the James J. Hill House.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries. Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.


There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Preferred Citation:

James J. Hill House plans (N 27), Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.

Biographical Note

James J. Hill (1838-1916) became one of the leading railroad barons in America in the closing decades of the 19th century and first decade of the 20th. Allied with banking magnate J.P. Morgan, Hill worked to control a vast railroad network stretching from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest and including three railroads: the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Burlington. Born in Canada, Hill moved to St. Paul before the Civil War and by 1879 was part owner of a local railroad company. By the turn of the century, he was a multi-millionaire and one of the nation's most important entrepreneurs. He lived most of his life in St. Paul and built a large and prestigious mansion, designed by the architectural firm Peabody and Steams, on Summit Avenue in 1890.

Robert Peabody was born in New Bedford, MA, on February 22, 1845. He received an A.B. degree in architecture from Harvard University in 1866 and a master's degree in 1870. In 1868, he graduated from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. He began practicing architecture in Boston in 1870 and was awarded the FAIA in 1889. Peabody died on September 23, 1917, in Marblehead, MA.

John Steams graduated from Harvard College in 1863 and was named an FAIA in 1894. He died in Duxbury, MA, on September 17, 1917.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers consist of floor plans for the Hill mansion, executed by Peabody & Steams in 1889-1990. There are 8 sheets of blackline reproductions of sepia prints which include plans of the basement, first, second, and third floors.

Related Material

The originals of the plans are held by the Minnesota Historical Society, the owner of the house.

Subject Terms
Index Terms
  • This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Hill, James Jerome, 1838-1916 -- Homes and haunts -- Minnesota -- Saint Paul
  • Peabody, Robert Swain, 1845-1917
  • Stearns, John Goddard, d. 1917
  • James J. Hill House (Saint Paul, Minn.)
  • Architecture, Domestic -- Minnesota -- Saint Paul