Sitting next to the famous James J. Hill mansion, and located at 260 Summit Avenue, is the home of J.J. Hill’s son, Louis. Built as a gift from his father in 1903, the house was designed by famous local architect Clarence Johnston in the Georgian Revival style. It features incredible plaster ceilings, decorative carved woodwork, and stained glass by famous artists Louis Millet and John LaFarge. Unsatisfied with the size of the mansion, Hill built a large addition on the front in 1912, which added four guest bedrooms on the first floor, a 3,000 square-foot ballroom with a pipe organ on the second floor, and a pool in the basement.
Louis Warren Hill was born on May 19th 1872, at the Hill family home in Saint Paul. Starting his education at six years old, he went on to study at Yale University, and graduated from Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School in 1893. After his graduation, Louis began working for the Great Northern Railway, joining in his father’s empire. On June 6th, 1901, he married Maud van Cortlandt Taylor in New York, and honeymooned in Europe. After returning to Saint Paul, the couple lived at the Hill family home, at 240 Summit Avenue, while the new house was under construction.
Louis and Maud Hill moved into their new home at 260 Summit Avenue in December of 1903, and in their time together there, raised four children. They separated in 1934, and Maud moved out of the home. Louis stayed until his death in 1948, when the house was donated to the Catholic Church. It became a retreat house and conference center dubbed “Marry Hill”, and was operated by the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. In 2001, the house was sold, completely restored, and became single family home once again.