Photograph by Peter Crouser
Minnesota State Capitol Redux
A century-plus of governing (and pesky Minnesota winters) can take a real toll on a building. Built in 1905, the Minnesota State Capitol was literally falling apart by 2013. A honey-do list that included a failing roof, major cracks in the plaster interior, and a crumbling marble exterior forced the state’s hand on the first comprehensive rehabilitation in the capitol’s history. They overhauled the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical, restored the exterior, and rehabbed interior art and architecture. The idea was to bring the functionality up to modern standards while bringing the look back to Cass Gilbert’s original neo Italian Renaissance vision. The capitol reopens January 3, with a grand opening ceremony slated for later this year.
By the Numbers
$4,500,000—Approximate cost of the capitol in 1905.
$310,000,000—Approximate cost of the capitol renovation in 2016.
2—The capitol dome’s rank on the list of largest unsupported marble domes in the world, just behind St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, after which Cass Gilbert modeled ours.
57—Number of murals restored throughout the capitol.
8—Number of weeks it took two conservators to restore just one of those 57, Contemplative Spirit of the East.
800—Number of Cass Gilbert–designed pieces of original furniture still in use.
300—Average number of workers and tradespeople onsite throughout the project.
750,000—Pounds of new duct work installed.
26,000—Estimated number of total exterior marble repairs completed.