No single man built a railroad empire like the celebrated James J. Hill, who took the moribund St. Paul & Pacific Railroad from a broken shell to the continent-spanning Great Northern Railway. He was a man of destiny, despite humble beginnings; of his massive railroad empire he said "When we are all dead and gone, the sun will still shine, the rain will fall, and this railroad will run as usual." The man needed an impressive pile of bricks for to house himself and his family in St. Paul, so he sought out the Boston firm of Peabody, Stearns & Furber to build the largest and most expensive home in Minnesota. Completed in 1891, the structure is spread across 36,500 sq. ft. and includes 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, 16 glass chandeliers, and a mighty pipe organ. During the 75-minute tour, visitors will see a good portion of the house, complete with a 10-minute video that provides more background on Hill and his work as a railroad empire builder. The tour is a nice mash-up of colorful commentary on Hill's life and the architectural details and interior design of the home. (Those pressed for time can just pop into the first floor music room, drawing room, and art gallery for a nominal admission charge.) There are a number of excellent signature events offered at the Hill House, including chamber concerts, an Easter Egg hunt, and a standout tour of F. Scott Fitzgerald sites in the surrounding Summit Avenue neighborhood.