Minnesota State Capitol

St. Paul, Minnesota


A masterpiece of historic architecture, the 1905 Minnesota State Capitol, designed by Cass Gilbert, overlooks downtown St. Paul. The Capitol is crowned by the world’s largest unsupported marble dome, measuring an impressive 89 feet in diameter. The interior is equally impressive, where marble stairways and columns, stenciled and gilded ceilings, and priceless murals abound.

From 2013 to 2017, the State of Minnesota conducted a thorough rehabilitation of the Capitol Building, restoring its historic features and updating building technologies for modern use. Over the course of the five-year project, CSS was a key team member, from initial design development to the final finishing touches.


CSS acted as a consultant during the planning and development stages of the project, performing investigation and analysis of historic finishes, offering prioritized treatment recommendations, and providing the design team with realistic budget and schedule options. During three years on-site, CSS artists, conservators, painters, plasterers, and support staff provided the following services:

  • Conservation, restoration, and re-creation of historic painted decoration throughout the building.
  • Conservation and restoration of decorative plaster finishes throughout the building.
  • Organization and oversight of a team of conservators to perform assessment, treatment analysis, documentation, and conservation of 52 historic murals located throughout the building.
  • Art Glass: Previously covered laylights were exposed to restore the original lighting and configuration in several spaces.
  • Stone Cleaning: Detailed cleaning of stonework throughout the building.
Mural Restoration In Progress

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