Photos: A last look inside? James J. Hill Center is closing its doors to public


The reading room at the James J. Hill Center is seen from the 2nd-floor.
1 The reading room at the James J. Hill Center is seen from the second-floor balcony inside the nearly 100-year-old building on Thursday. The center, which opened in 1921, announced that it will close to the public on July 3. 
A drawer filled with historic road maps sits on display.
2 A drawer filled with historic road maps sits on display inside the James J. Hill center. The center also holds historic artifacts like James J. Hill's personal desk. 
Green stickers mark books that are part  original collection.
3 Green stickers mark books that are part of the James J. Hill Center's original collection since it opened in 1921. The catwalks on the first floor are made of the original glass flooring. 
The James J. Hill Center reading room is seen from the 3rd floor.
4 The James J. Hill Center reading room is seen from the third floor of the building, which is off-limits to the public along with the catwalks on the first and second floors. 
Newspaper clippings cut by the James J. Hill Center's first librarian.
5 Newspaper clippings cut by the James J. Hill Center's first librarian are kept in a scrapbook inside the basement. 
Historic books line the shelves of the James J. Hill Center in St. Paul.
6 Historic books line the shelves of the James J. Hill Center. The books kept at the center are used for historical research and are not available for checkout or viewing by the general public. 
The vault of the James J. Hill Center holds stamps.
7 The vault of the James J. Hill Center holds stamps that were used throughout the library's history. 
Tables and chairs line the edges of the reading room.
8 Tables and chairs line the edges of the reading room at the James J. Hill Center. The center was originally named the James J. Hill Library but was renamed in 2013. 
A book press from 1900 sits on display.
9 A book press from 1900 sits on display inside of the James J. Hill Center. The press was used to bind books and also to make copies. 
A safe that was used by the James J. Hill Center's first librarian.
10 A safe that was used by J.G. Pyle, the James J. Hill Center's first librarian, sits in the basement of the center. 
A portrait of James J. Hill hangs above the reading room.
11 A portrait of James J. Hill hangs above the reading room inside of the James J. Hill Center. Hill died in 1916, five years before the center opened.