Chandelier to Light Capital Once Again Jan. 17

For immediate release

Release dated: 
January 9, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 •

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Quick facts: 

Event: State Capitol Chandelier Raising and Lighting Ceremony
Date: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul
Cost: Free
Call for more information 651-296-2881

Chandelier to Light Capital Once Again Jan. 17


After two years of conservation and then storage, the State Capital's one-ton chandelier is going back home. The massive, six-foot in diameter light fixture was lowered and removed from the Capital rotunda after work began to stem water damage within the interior dome. At the time, the chandelier also underwent conservation work by Society experts to remove years of dust and grime from the sphere's thousands of crystal beads.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, the chandelier is being raised 142 feet and positioned back at the top of the rotunda, with every one of its 92 lights illuminated.

The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. and admission is free. In addition to witnessing the raising and lighting of the refurbished chandelier, Capital visitors will enjoy early 1900's music provided by vocalist Erik Pearson, as well as a bit of history and some interesting facts about the light fixture.

Traditionally, the chandelier is only lit a few times a year: Statehood Day – May 11, governor’s inaugurations, when a government official’s body lies in state in the rotunda, and special events like the State Capitol Historic Site’s Shadows & Spirits of the Capitol tours in October.

The Minnesota State Capitol, designed by architect Cass Gilbert, was built from 1896 to 1905. At the time it included modern conveniences such as climate control systems, fire proofing and electric lighting. Just days before the building's grand opening in January 1905, the six-foot diameter chandelier was installed. Known at that time as an "electrolier," it has 92 incandescent light bulbs held in place by a multi-tiered candelabrum inside the sphere.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.