Capitol Heights

Capitol Heights is the neighborhood north of the state capitol complex. It historically was a mix of modest homes, apartments or flats, and a group of mansions along University and Sherburne avenues that overlooked downtown Saint Paul. All of the mansions are gone now, as are some of the other homes. State office and Bethesda Hospital expansion, as well as street projects, too out parts of the neighborhood. But there are still older workers’ homes, row houses and other historic buildings here.

The state capitol complex, Rice and Jackson streets and Pennsylvania Avenue are the neighborhood boundaries.

One of the mansions was the John H. Merriam house at University and Cedar Street. The Richardson Romanesque mansion was built in 1887. Family members lived there until 1915. John Merriam’s son William was one of Minnesota’s governors.

The house was turned into the first Saint Paul Science Museum after the Saint Paul Institute purchased it in 1927. It was demolished after the museum moved to new quarters downtown in 1964. The state administration building is on the site today.

Images

Wabasha Street looking north

Wabasha Street looking north

Merriam house and State Capitol site in the distance Photographer: St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press Date: Approximately 1896 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

University and Cedar

University and Cedar

John L. Merriam house (left) and William R. Merriam house (right). The John L. Merriam house was a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion that was built in 1887. Family members lived there until 1915. John Merriam's son William was one of Minnesota's governors. Photographer: Arthur C. Warner Date: 1888 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

View of St. Paul from dome of the State Capitol

View of St. Paul from dome of the State Capitol

The John L. Merriam House (foreground) was turned into the first Saint Paul Science Museum after the Saint Paul Institute purchased it in 1927. Photographer: Eugene Debs Becker Date: April, 1952 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Aerial view of east end of State Capitol building

Aerial view of east end of State Capitol building

Merriam house and Bethesda Hospital are also pictured Photographer: St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press Date: January 3, 1961 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Jane McClure, “Capitol Heights,” Saint Paul Historical, accessed June 23, 2017, http://saintpaulhistorical.com/items/show/159.

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