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The Minnesota State Capitol
1895 - 1905
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Cass Gilbert, architect

Minnesota State Capitol by Cass Gilbert
Early rendering for the Minnesota State Capitol by Cass Gilbert
Illustration from Arttoday.com -
Published with permission

Ancient ideas combined with modern technologies in Gilbert's plans for the Minnesota State Capitol. The vast domed structure was modeled after Saint Peter's in Rome. However, the building would have electricity, modern climate-control systems, and fireproofing. Gilbert said that his plan was "in the Italian Renaissance style, in quiet, dignified character, expressing its purpose in its exterior appearance."

A shortage of funds meant that Gilbert had to compromise on some of his plans. Also, controversies ensued when Gilbert selected a Georgia marble instead of local Minnesota stone.

Moreover, the stability of the dome came under question. Gilbert's engineer, Gunvald Aus, and his contractor, the Butler-Ryan Company, ultimately created a brick dome reinforced with steel rings.

Despite the problems, the Minnesota State Capitol became a turning point in Gilbert's career. He went on to design the capitol buildings for Arkansas and West Virginia.

Minnesota State Capitol by Cass Gilbert
Minnesota State Capitol by Cass Gilbert
Illustration from Arttoday.com -
Published with permission

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