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State Capitol Restoration Project

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Our State Capitol is the physical expression of our representative form of government and the symbolic “Peoples’ House.” After 109 years, the building has reached a critical deterioration point.

A three-year, comprehensive restoration is underway to restore and preserve the Capitol building and update the infrastructure supporting the Capitol Complex. During construction, the Capitol will remain open to the public and the State will continue to conduct its business during regular legislative sessions.

Planned Phases and Anticipated Start Dates

  • September 2013 - Begin abatement, demolition and preparation of basement
  • February 2014 - Begin to procure and construct mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure
  • June 2014 - Close and repair the West Wing ground and first floors. The entire East Wing will be closed
  • June 2015 - Close and repair the West Wing second and third floors, and the entire North Wing

Primary Issues

  • Inefficient, aging mechanical, electrical and plumbing. 
    • Corroded plumbing systems
    • Aged mechanical system
    • Over-sized electrical systems
    • Antiquated technology systems
    • Energy inefficient
  • Safety and security
    • Crumbling stone exterior
    • Water damage
    • Under code for fire safety
    • Accessibility limitations
  • Inadequate hearing rooms and office space
    • Poor configuration for public participation
  • Lack of amenities and visitor services
    • Limited dining services, especially for school groups
    • Not enough restrooms

The need for a comprehensive preservation effort was identified more than 30 years ago. Plans were drawn and debated over the past decade, but never funded. A number of small restoration projects have been completed, such as re-gilding the finial atop the Capitol dome, drum window replacement, and some exterior stone cleaning and repair. However, a major restoration never happened. In 2012, the Minnesota State Capitol Preservation Commission – which includes legislative leadership and the Governor – unanimously adopted a plan to completely restore the Capitol. The cost, benchmarked against other states capitol preservation projects, is at or below the average cost. Initial funding was appropriated in the 2012 and 2013 legislative sessions. The Capitol restoration project kicked off in September 2013.

Approved Construction

Capitol Building Restoration
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems upgrade
  • General construction (i.e. life-safety, accessibility, security, telecom, etc.)
  • Roof replacement
  • Preparation of swing space
Related Projects
New Parking Facility

A new parking structure is scheduled to be built on Lot F, which is adjacent to the Minnesota Department of Transportation Building. It will accommodate 532 vehicles (net gain of 419 spots). Substantial completion is scheduled for December 2014.

New Capitol Office Building

A new capitol office building is scheduled to be constructed on Lot B, just north of the Capitol building. The structure will include senate offices, modern hearing and meeting spaces, and parking. Substantial completion estimated for May 2015.

To browse original planning and communication documents about the project, see the Minnesota State Capitol Preservation Commission webpage.