One day when I was moseying around the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, I came upon a huge pair of gas torchieres, beautiful ladies decorated in gold holding them aloft.
The description said that they were a little housewarming gift, purchased in France by railroad tycoon James J. Hill for his son's new home in St. Paul, where they stood in the foyer outside the ballroom from 1905 to 1974. They are quite tall and ornate and I got to wondering about the ballroom and the house they had occupied.
Last weekend I was in St. Paul so I decided to look for the house. I was kind of surprised when I saw it. It was one of the smaller and less impressive mansions in the neighborhood.
If I could afford to live here, I would not have yellow plastic Adirondack chairs on my front porch, and I would hire someone to pick up the blue newspaper packages when I was away. But hey, that's just me!
The mansion next door is much more to my liking.
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