Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration

The Minnesota State Capitol dome is actually a three-dome structure. The exterior one you can see from the outside, the interior one you can see in the Rotunda, and an unseen middle dome that keeps frost and water from damaging the interior dome.

During the past few years workers have repaired the exterior dome to prevent water damage and installed a ventilation system to move the humidity out of the dome. New flashing for drainage was also installed around the base of the middle dome to trap and remove water permeating from the exterior dome. The finial (the golden ball at the top of the exterior dome) was repaired and new gold leaf applied, new windows were installed and the dome’s chandelier was cleaned and restored. But there is still another $260 million worth of repairs to be done to get Minnesota’s Capitol back into the shape it was when it opened in 1903.

Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A Green Line test train passes along University Ave. and the scaffold-covered Capitol as restoration work continues on the exterior in April of 2014.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A stonecutter makes repairs on the ornate façade of the Capitol in May of 2014.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Another image of a stonecutter makes repairs on the façade.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A workman replaces one of the windows at the base of the dome. All the windows were replaced in August 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A mover wraps one of the lawyer’s desks in the original Supreme Court Chamber to be put in storage during the restoration of the east wing of the Capitol in May 2014.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A lobbyist leaves the restoration work in the basement of the Capitol and into the tunnel that leads to the State Office Building in May 2014.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Workmen remove concrete slabs in the basement of the Capitol in preparation of foundation underpinning.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
ArtServe employees remove the 82 x 106 inch painting of the “Attack on New Ulm” by Anton Gag to be crated for storage in May of 2014.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Another image of the removal of the “Attack on New Ulm.”
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Over forty paintings will be removed and put into storage for the next two years during the restoration of the State Capitol.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
The “Attack on New Ulm” hung at one end of Room 118 that was often used by the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives during the latter part of a legislative session.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
“Attack on New Ulm” being rolled off the Capitol grounds.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A drape covers the Capitol lantern and finial as repairs are made and the dome’s ornaments are recovered in gold leaf in June 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Heide Xu, center left, telling Duane Olson, left, Capitol construction superintendent with JE Dunn Construction, that the wind is too strong to work on the lower portion of finial. Stoyko Stoykov, right, continues to apply gold leaf sheets to the middle portion of the finial in June 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Inside a cocoon made of scaffolding wrapped in plastic atop the Minnesota State Capitol, a worker painstakingly applies gold leaf to the lantern’s finial in June 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Heidi Xu, of Evergreene Architectural Arts in New York, lays on her stomach to apply gold leaf to a portion of the finial in June 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Workman remove the drape that covered the Capitol lantern and finial (the finial is in gold and sits on top of the lantern) after repairs were made and the dome’s ornaments was recovered in gold leaf in July 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
The work is completed on the Capitol lantern and finial after repairs were made and the dome’s ornaments was recovered in gold leaf in July 2012.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
A workman hoists a window frame that will be installed in an opening at the base of the dome in August 2012. All of the dome’s window were replaced.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Gary Behm, right, president of St. Louis Lighting Company and Sysomphone Khatsyphom, left, replace bulbs in the Capitol’s chandelier after rewiring the ornate fixture that hangs in the rotunda dome in February 2011.
Behind the scenes of the Minnesota Capitol restoration
Workman hang over the dome in bosun’s chairs to tuck point seams on the stone exterior of the Capitol in July 2010.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 06/16/2014 - 06:41 am.

    Capital

    Very cool pictures! Thanks for posting them.

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