The Minnesota State Capitol has been on my bucket list for years. Ever since I was a teenager and took a spontaneous trip to Washington DC with my family. It almost gave me chills to be standing there. It is where history happens and laws are shaped. That was when I realized that I had never seen my own state capitol. It would take me another decade before I finally had a good excuse to go.
Inside the Minnesota State Capitol Renovations
The capitol building just went through a $310 Million dollar restoration project. Because of the project, public tours had been stopped for a good part of last year. They reopened in January of 2017. I couldn’t wait to get inside and see it first hand.
The outside consists, Georgia Marble. The architect, Cass Gilbert wanted it to look distinctive from the distance. This upset most Minnesotans at the time but it was a great choice. It gave the capital a magnificent white exterior that stands out in a sea of limestone. Most of the materials insides the capital building were made from Minnesota materials.
The restoration brought back the original appearance of the paintings and murals adorning the capital. Also, they also did some much-needed repair work to the marble on the outside. They are doing work on a lot of the skylights of the dome structures. The carpeting was replaced to match the original appearance. In the renovations, they moved offices and made almost 40,000 square feet for public gathers spaces. They are still completing finishing work.
The Governers Reception Room
The House of Representatives Chamber
The Minnesota Supreme Court
Visiting the Minnesota State Capitol
Self-guided tours are available. They give you the opportunity to see things at your own pace without the groups. If you want to get more access, I recommend taking one of the Free Tour’s. They are available on the top of the hour, every hour. Going on a tour will get you Governors Reception room and inside the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives. They are normally closed to the public.
The grand re-opening of the Minnesota State Capitol is on August 11th-13th. You will see it in its original splendor. Walking around, you will see the capital as it looked 112 years ago. They will also have the roof access opened back up to tours so you can get a glimpse of the golden statute.