Walnut Street Stairway, also sometimes called the J.J. Hill Stairway, is located near the historic James J. Hill House and connects Summit Avenue to Pleasant Avenue, adjacent to the I-35E corridor right-of-way. Perched on a steep bluff overlooking downtown, it is the longest stairway in the City of Saint Paul. Residents and visitors primarily use the stairway for recreation or exercise, but it also provides a pedestrian connection between Summit Hill neighborhoods and West Seventh businesses across I-35E including United Hospital and Children’s Minnesota Hospital.

Connects Summit Avenue to Pleasant Avenue/I-35E.

No timeline is set until a reconstruction plan and budget are identified.


    A Virtual Public Meeting was held on June 13, 2023

    The West 7th/and Fort Road Federation and Summit Hill Association hosted a virtual public Zoom meeting on Tuesday, June 13 to share an update about the Walnut Street Stairway. 

    Public Works Bridges Division provided a short presentation about the conditions of the stairway and need for reconstruction efforts in order for it to reopen. 

    Review the Public Works Bridge Division PowerPoint Presentation (PDF Document):

    Watch the virtual meeting and online presentation (link to West 7th/Fort Road Federation website).  Please scroll down to the "Recordings of Past Events"

    Stairway Closed

    In October 2020, the City closed the Walnut Street stairway to the public following a partial collapse of the south brick wall.

    The City has determined that the stairway and wall system are structurally unsound and cannot be repaired and must be reconstructed. The City is exploring several replacement options, but has no funding or timelines established.

    Saint Paul Public Works continues to monitor the condition of the stairway and wall system. The City will not open the stairway system until it is safe to do so for public use.