Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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Minnesota State Capitol

Front, 2001
Back, 2001
Address: 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1896-1905
Primary Style: Beaux Arts
Architect or source of design: Cass Gilbert
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Marble
Material of Foundation: Granite

Saint Paul Ramsey

Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(44.955080509241,-93.102264404297warning.png"44.955080509241.-93.102264404297" is not a number. )
National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 72000681
Reference URL: [Reference]
Certification date: 1972/02/23
Level of significance: State
Primary Style: Beaux Arts

This is actually the third Minnesota Capitol building for the state ( the fourth if you consider the first capitol to be the log hotel the legislature held its meetings in when Minnesota was a territory). The first Capitol was a two story brick building at Tenth and Cedar Streets, constructed in 1853 and was destroyed by fire in 1881. When a second Capitol was completed the following year it was already too small for the growing state government. Complaints of overcrowding and poor ventilation dogged the building from the start. The second Capitol was razed in 1937.

Bills proposing a new statehouse were introduced in 1893, and in 1895 Cass Gilbert was commissioned to design the Capitol after his design won a competition that included 41 other entries. It was built at a cost of $4.5 million. The Capitol is 434 feet long and 229 feet wide, featuring a dome of 89 feet in diameter.

Some controversy existed around Gilbert's choice of Georgia marble for the exterior. The stone was quarried in Georgia, a state Minnesotans knew best as the scene of Civil War actions in their younger days. The choice of out-of-state marble would deprive Minnesota's stone industry of the prestige of the state's foremost building. Gilbert anticipated strong objections and suggested a compromise, Minnesota granite and sandstone for the steps and terraces, and ground floor walls, and Georgia marble for the walls above. The commission voted for the combination after days of debate.



Site of many protests and demonstrations by labor and its allies. Angry farmers sat down and occupied the legislative chambers in the 1930s. St. Paul's largest labor demonstration occurred here in 1989 as 11,000 workers rallied against anti-union construction at the Boise-Cascade plant in International Falls. Unions have lobbied for scores of laws, from minimum wage to workplace safety, that help all workers. Through the efforts of the labor movement, local and state public employees won collective bargaining rights in 1973.

Memories and stories


65}px This place is part of the
Saint Paul Labor History Tour

Photo Galleries

Memorials on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds

Related Links

Minnesota State Capitol Reopening
Reopening weekend calendar
Article by Denis Gardner
Our Minnesota State Capitol
Almanac interview
Western Architect State Capitol edition
State Capitol
History of the State Capitol
Cass Gilbert Society


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