The Empire Building

The seven-story  Empire Building at 360 North Robert Street was completed in 1891. Designed by St. Paul architect Clarence H. Johnston, the Jacobsville Sandstone, red brick  office and banking building was formerly known as the Manhattan Building and the Capital National Bank Building. At the turn of the century, the famous stenographer, Miss Ruth M. Hillman occupied her stenographers office in Room 506. Hillman was very popular due to her sunny temperament, promptness and accuracy. Architect Clarence H. Johnston went on to design such notable destination as Williams Arena, Northrop Auditorium and the Minnesota State Prison at Stillwater. A 30-foot-high street-level façade was added in 1960, but, the lobby has been restored and most of the buildings offices have their original doors with glazed glass windows and above narrow mail slots below. The Empire building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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