Capitol Heights is the neighborhood north of the state capitol complex. It historically was a mix of modest homes, apartments or flats, and a group of mansions along University and Sherburne avenues that overlooked downtown Saint Paul. All of the mansions are gone now, as are some of the other homes. State office and Bethesda Hospital expansion, as well as street projects, too out parts of the neighborhood. But there are still older workers’ homes, row houses and other historic buildings here.
The state capitol complex, Rice and Jackson streets and Pennsylvania Avenue are the neighborhood boundaries.
One of the mansions was the John H. Merriam house at University and Cedar Street. The Richardson Romanesque mansion was built in 1887. Family members lived there until 1915. John Merriam’s son William was one of Minnesota’s governors.
The house was turned into the first Saint Paul Science Museum after the Saint Paul Institute purchased it in 1927. It was demolished after the museum moved to new quarters downtown in 1964. The state administration building is on the site today.