Mystery Photo Friday #8 – Geo-Savants Rule

"Let me in. I don't want to be late."

Above is the photo for this week’s contest.  If you have a guess, scroll down to “Comments” at the bottom of this post and submit your entry.  If you got an email from me, be sure to go to the blog to send in your comment.  Now, if there were a “canoe follies” back in the 1930s, it might have been seen here at this historic arts’ venue.  Good luck. Below is the “movie” from last week.  Do I hear bells?

As for last week’s contest, here’s some additional shots to help you hone in on the correct answer, of which we had several. The stone wall to my left, the descending path to the big vista and the Church Bells were the main clues to this location. Julie from Minneapolis wrote in that the photo was taken in St. Paul. Correct.  But where in that fair burg?

Moving goods and people across the Plains paid for this stone and mortar.

Canoe, Car and Lad on this venerable and prestigious St. Paul avenue.

Careful son.  You might get sideswiped by the ghosts of the movers and shakers who used to call this avenue home – some still do.  And, they don’t make stone walls like they used to. Well I guess they do, really.

You can't see the hill for the trees

The manservant who lived up there kept track of the comings and goings of his employer and his distinguished guests

Mike, Philip, and somewhat officially, Dan and Elizabeth got the location and deserve a good ear cleaning product, for sure.  Kevlar banjo Dan and Geezer were also in the running.  But the prize has to go to Chad for his incredible specificity.  Way to go Chad.  He identified the stairs adjacent to James J. Hill’s Summit Avenue mansion correctly and went on to add that the stairs separate the mansions of J.J and his son, Louis.  J. J. and Louis at 240 and 260 Summit Avenue, respectively. Check out the Minnesota Historical Society\’s JJ Hill Mansion site for great background and photos of all things Hill House.  I recommend you take a regular tour of the mansion and the “nooks and crannies” tour as well which I hope to do this summer.  Lot’s of events there are open to the public.

J.J. Hill Mansion - 1905 - Minnesota Historical Society

The firm of Peabody, Stearns, and Furber designed a simple, forceful, and direct house in the massive Richardsonian Romanesque style. Hill oversaw the planning, construction, and furnishing of the house as if it were a new branch of the railroad. He rejected stained-glass window designs by Tiffany and Company, saying they were “anything but what I want,” and even replaced the architects when they ignored his orders to the stonecutters. He engaged Boston firm Irving and Casson to finish the interiors.

Completed in 1891, the mansion was the largest and most expensive home in Minnesota. It contained 36,000 square feet on five floors including 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, 16 crystal chandeliers, a two-story skylit art gallery, a 100-foot reception hall, and a profusion of elaborately carved oak and mahogany woodwork. Sophisticated technical systems throughout the mansion provided central heating, gas and electric lighting, plumbing, ventilation, security, and communication. The final cost totaled $931,275.01 including construction, furnishings, and landscaping for the three-acre estate (Minnesota Historical Society – link above)

Louis Hill House - 2001 - Placeology

Louis succeeded his father, James J. Hill, as president of the Great Northern Railroad. Architecturally, the house at 260 Summit had a large addition made to the main facade in 1913. Many rooms were added which included a ballroom. In 1948, when Louis Hill died, the home was sold to the Catholic Guild, and in 1961 was used as a Retreat House. It has been restored and is now privately owned (Placeology).

Scroll to the bottom for a Google Map.

Thanks everyone for checking in.  Saturday, the canoe and I go in the water for a few drills with the spray deck in place.  I hope to practice some wet exits and get comfortable with both the skirt and the dry-suit.  I’ve been stretching the neck gasket on that garment for weeks to get a more comfortable fit and to be able to breathe which I find a “plus” when paddling.  Next week, I’ll have some photos of Saturday to share and we’ll continue up the St. Croix with river stories and the like. Until then, keep your paddle in the water – Corey

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15 Responses to Mystery Photo Friday #8 – Geo-Savants Rule

  1. shawn glidden says:

    puttin’ on the . . . canoe?

  2. Gary says:

    Varsity Theater

  3. Carl says:

    Franklin Art Works?

  4. Carl says:

    …no probably Varsity Theater

  5. dale Wiehle says:

    I think it’s the Ritz in North East.

  6. Bonnie Jean says:

    That says Ritz to me. If it were a wider shot I’d know for sure, but first impression tells me Ritz. And I sat in my car gazing at it on March 19th, so I ought to know. But what is bothering me is that plain paper in the windows. I would expect to see a large poster advertizing a show or a dance troup. ( I am at the Ritz every Saturday from 11 – 12:30, and often from 2:00 – 4:00. )

    • coreymohan says:

      Plain Paper Ritz – maybe if that’s it, it’s under new management or going into the wrapping business. Now I’m confused. Good luck. thanks for the comment. CM

  7. Bonnie Jean says:

    Corey, Are you going to that Bottineau Jig show tonight at the Intermedia Arts? It should prove to be quite interesting and informative. They were nearly sold out, I heard, yesterday. It is a history piece on MN Territory dwellers. I liked it. It is relevant to your blog here. ( I went to the Dress Rehearsal).

    • coreymohan says:

      Bonnie Jean,

      I forgot all about it. Crimey. And Poor Benny is at Nina’s tonight and Trotter’s tomorrow. Write in about it if you get over there and have the time.

      Thanks CM

  8. Bob says:

    OK, it’s the Ritz, but why? Is Corey crackers? Is he taking Ballet of the Dolls with him? Fuel for paddling? What little history lesson will be all get next Friday?

    • coreymohan says:

      Bob, speaking of Ballet of the Dolls….I maybe should have asked you first….but I volunteered you to dance the lead next season and they seemed quite interested. On a similar thread, have you seen the Minnesota version of Swan Lake set on a farm in northern Minnesota?

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