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James J. Hill Center to close to the public July 3

June 12, 2019 06:34 PM

After nearly 100 years, the James J. Hill Center is set to close to the public next month.

The Center, which opened as the James J. Hill Reference Library in 1921, was created as a free general purpose library to serve St. Paul residents.

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But, as time passed and the privately-funded nonprofit dealt with financial realities, it refocused to business reference services.

In a statement posted on its website, the Center said it's signficantly increased its programming and community impact over the past three years, all while "actively supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Minnesota."

But, without a sustainable source of revenue, changes have to be made.

"We continue to be challenged to develop a financial model that can deliver the original intent while being fiscally responsible for the ongoing operating costs of the organization and necessary capital investments in the historic structure," the Center's statement says in part.

Because of the challenges, the James J. Hill Center will close to the public on July 3 while its board and executive director explore its options.

"Of course it's disappointing, but at the same time, tough decisions have to be made," James J Hill Center Executive Director Tamara Prato told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

"We need to be able to step back and really reflect and do some more conversations within the community to determine what our next step should be."

The Center said all events booked in 2019 will still be honored, but no new events will be scheduled for the time being.

If you have questions regarding the closure, you can contact staff at 651-265-5500 or visit the Center's website for answers to some questions about the closure.

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