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St. Paul’s Landmark Center to get $3.6 million facelift over next two years

The work includes restoration of the two towers and tuck-pointing.

Landmark Center in St. Paul — completed in 1902 — will get a facelift over the next two years, with restoration of the two soaring towers and preservation-approved tuck-pointing of the masonry joints.

The building, once the Federal Court House and Post Office, cost $2.5 million to build at the time.

After the the Post Office moved out, the building was scheduled for demolition in the 1970s, but an ardent civic outpouring convinced officials to save the historic structure.

It’s now owned by Ramsey County and is the home of several arts institutions.

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Officials say that the north and south tower roofs were not restored during the repair work of the 1970s. And the masonry joints had been tuck-pointed with calk, which is now failing. The new repairs will use original limestone-based mortar, following historic preservation guidelines.

Rafael Ortega, the Ramsey County Board chair, said:

This project will responsibly repair this iconic, architecturally significant building, so that it may continue to function as a beloved community gathering place and historic destination that welcomes thousands of visitors each year.

The Ramsey County Capital Improvement Program providing $3.5 million of the funding for the project. Other support comes from grants from the Boss Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation and the Arts & Cultural Legacy Fund.

A public kick-off of the project will be July 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Landmark Center.