The Great Northern Railroad Building was built by James J. Hill, a St. Paul Railroad Baron. Known as the "Empire Builder, " Hill was instrumental in opening up land-based trade to the northwestern United States with the construction of a railway from St. Paul to Seattle via Glacier National Park.
The Empire Builder continues to operate today, and is one of Amtrak's most profitable long distance routes.
This building replaced the circa 1891 Great Northern Building, now The Great Northern Lofts, as the headquarters of Hill's business enterprises.
In terms of rentable office space, this is the largest building in downtown St. Paul.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing member of the Lowertown Historic District.