Timeline

1849

Minnesota's new Territorial Legislature authorizes building of a capitol.

1853

First state capitol building was completed.

1881

First capitol was destroyed by fire in 1881.

1882

Second capitol was completed.

1893

Bill proposing new statehouse was passed by Minnesota Legislature.

1895

Cass Gilbert's design for a capitol building was selected in a competition with 40 other entrants.

1896

The third capitol construction began.

1898

The cornerstone for the new capitol was laid by 83-year-old Alexander Ramsey, the state's first territorial governor, second state governor and senator.

Jan. 2, 1905

The new capitol opened to the public; 34th legislative session was convened the following day.

June 14, 1905

Aging Civil war veterans carried tattered Minnesota regimental flags from the old capitol to the new capitol building.

1906

The massive copper sculpture "Progress of the State," better know as "The Quadriga," was installed on the roof at the base of the dome. It was created by Daniel C. French, sculptor of the sitting Abraham Lincoln figure at the Lincoln Memorial, and Edward C. Potter, a noted sculptor of animals.

1917

The Rathskeller Café in the basement, featuring fanciful murals and German mottos, was painted over due to anti-German sentiment sweeping state and country. The mottos were uncovered in 1930, only to painted over again in 1937.

1944

Architect Clarence Johnston, building on plans drawn up by Cass Gilbert over several decades of the early 20th century, designed the capitol approach (mall) anticipating the construction of the interstate freeway.

1949

The "Quadriga" statue atop was regilded 42 years after it was installed. It was regilded and repaired once again in a massive project undertaken in 1994.

1999

The Rathskeller Café was once again restored to its original glory.

2013-2017

The capitol underwent a comprehensive, 4-year repair and restoration project to repair exterior marble, replace the roof, install new electrical and mechanical systems, and make the building ADA accessible. The capitol now offers more public space, and the building’s historic furniture, artwork and interior decorations have been restored to their 1905 appearance.