St. Paul tour highlights decades of home design

  • Article by: CONNIE NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 12, 2007 - 8:49 AM

This neighborhood home tour allows you to experience 150 years of architecture.

Where I grew up, the streets were lined with '60s-style houses arranged in an unchanging pattern: rambler/split-level/rambler/split-level. Later, I bought a '20s bungalow in a neighborhood where there was no pattern at all, just '20s bungalows.

That's why I always wanted to live in a place that had some Greek revivals, a few Queen Annes, maybe an Italian renaissance or two. I don't live there, but the Ramsey Hill Home Tour offers a chance to visit all of the above.

This year's tour, dubbed "Decades of Design," features 15 homes -- from an 1850s colonial revival to a 1920s Tudor revival to a brand new condo development -- plus signature structures such as the 36,000-square-foot James J. Hill House, the classical Renaissance-style Cathedral of St. Paul and the art deco Commodore Hotel.

The one-day walking tour, which includes several tony Summit Avenue homes, allows the architecturally adventurous to experience a three-story beaux-arts mansion, a 1910 Mission-style bungalow and an 11-bedroom Tudor revival. And there's no need to feel guilty about gawking. Proceeds from the tour go to restoring neighborhood parks, preventing crime and bolstering community-based organizations.

  • RAMSEY HILL HOME TOUR

    What: A walking tour of homes, churches and a hotel-turned-condominium in a historic St. Paul neighborhood.

    When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

    Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 day of the tour. Tickets are available at www.ramsey hill.org or 952-955-6248.

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