Sunday, March 8, 2015

Summit Avenue: Time Travel for Free

As I drive down the city streets in the outskirts of St. Paul, I pass by places that are all too familiar to me; Snuffy's Malt Shop on Cleveland Avenue, Patina on Ford Parkway, that questionable chinese restaurant that everyones too afraid to eat at... I drive past without a second glance, until I reach the intersection of Cleveland and Summit Avenue. This is a road I will never become immune to. How could I, when it's named one of the top ten streets to live on in the nation? 

Now I've got your attention.

To say it simply, Summit Avenue is four miles of historic homes that look like they came straight out of The Great Gatsby, which may not be a far fetched statement considering F. Scott Fitzgerald lived on Summit during his years writing the famous novel. But in all honesty, this stretch of homes is beyond beautiful. It will no doubt take you back in time.

312 Summit (above) is the oldest house that currently sits on the Avenue. It was built in 1858 and was the third house ever to be built on Summit. 

Ah yes, the James J. Hill house (above and below). A classic field trip destination, but also the home to railroad tycoon James J. Hill. Completed in 1891, it is by far the largest house on Summit expanding almost 36,000 Square Feet.

476 Summit Avenue (above) is said to be haunted by several of its past residents. I didn't buy it, so I casually walked around and snapped pictures like it was a popular tourist attraction. As I made my way to the side of the house to grab one last shot, I heard a weird wailing that sounded like a woman crying… 

That's all the confirmation I needed. I was outta there! And that was the only picture I got.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's House (above) was by far my favorite house I visited. It sits farther west away from some of the larger homes, so it stands out beautifully amongst it's neighbors. The author lived here from 1919 to 1922. 

I highly recommend touring Summit Avenue. With the weather being amazing and unusual for a Minnesota March, this is the perfect spot to walk and spend an afternoon. 

Let me know your favorite houses (haunted or not) on Summit!


  1. Summit Ave is gorgeous during the Holidays too! Beautiful lights everywhere!