Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


State Capitol renovations to kick into high gear after July 4 fireworks

The next phase of the $272 million restoration will be very visible, with work on the roof and more interior improvements under way.

The next phase of the Minnesota State Capitol renovation starts next week, after Friday night’s Fourth of July fireworks show at the state Capitol grounds.

(The fireworks have been moved to the Capitol mall because of flooding at Harriet Island.)

Starting next week, a visible phase of the $272 million renovation begins in earnest, including major work on the roof and limited access to the building itself.

Officials say work will begin on replacing the roof and prepping much of the interior for new mechanical and electrical system installation. Key areas of the building will be closed to protect the public and irreplaceable architectural details. There will be no access to the Rotunda, all floors of the East Wing, and the ground and first floors of the West Wing.

Article continues after advertisement

The renovation and repair effort began last fall and is scheduled to end in 2017, with work to repair deteriorating exterior stone; improve safety; replace outdated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; and make more space open to the public.

The offices of Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson have already been moved: The governor is in the nearby Veterans Services Building and the AG is in downtown St. Paul’s Bremer Tower.

A status update from state officials says:

  • State senators with offices in the Capitol will remain in the building, and then relocate outside of the Capitol following the 2015 session. Senate administrative offices have already moved.
  • Art from within the Capitol has been removed for safe storage by the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Flagpoles atop the Capitol Building will be removed to facilitate the roof replacement. The official Capitol Complex flags will be flown over the Court of Honor Memorial in front of the Veterans Service Building on the Capitol Mall.
  • The Quadriga roof monument (golden chariot sculpture) will be enclosed to protect it during the reconstruction. The Quadriga’s male figure will be removed this summer for repairs after deterioration was noted during routine maintenance.
  • No parking will be available around the immediate perimeter of the Capitol building (Aurora Avenue, Lots N and O), other than a limited number of disability accessible spaces.
  • Green Line light rail stops and Metro bus stops will remain the same (Please note that Capitol area bus stops were recently reconfigured to accommodate the light rail).