Building the Capitol

The contract for the current capitol was awarded in 1895.
Construction started in 1896.
Alexander Ramsey laid the first cornerstone in 1898.
The dome was completed in 1902.
The building opened in 1905.

Cass Gilbert was the architect of the Minnesota state capitol. He also designed:
   U.S. Supreme Court building (Washington, D.C.).
   Woolworth building (New York City).
   U.S. Customs House (New York City).
   West Virginia state capitol.
   Arkansas state capitol (begun by George R. Mann).
For more about Cass Gilbert, see Cass Gilbert: The Early Years by Geoffrey Blodgett

Almost one hundred items were placed in the granite cornerstone of the new capitol building in 1898.

The steps and ground floor exterior stone of the capitol is St. Cloud Granite and the upper stories and dome is made of white Georgia marble.

The large dome consists of three structures: an inner decorative dome, seen from the rotunda, a steel and brick cone, and the outer self-supporting marble dome.


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Cass Gilbert standing before partially completed State Capitol dome


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Cass Gilbert


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Cass Gilbert and staff during construction of the State Capitol, St. Paul.


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Toolbox and carpenter's tools used in building Minnesota State Capitol


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Ceremonial trowel used in laying the cornerstone of the Minnesota State Capitol