This historic photo shows the Hill house under construction in the fall of 1889, with interior brick walls faced with brownstone ashlar blocks, steel beams as roof trusses. Note also: Swan Pearson, immigrant stone carver, and crew at work on the porte cochere.
Costs: construction, $522,854.38
James Hill knew his costs to the penny. He died here in 1916. The Hill daughters gave the building to the St. Paul Archdiocese in 1925 as an education center. In 1978 the house was acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Hill House Construction Crew ca 1891 MR2.9/SP3.2gh/p140 neg #8485, Photo S. M. Taylor