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Work crews Wednesday tackled preparatory tasks ahead of the Minnesota Capitol’s significant face lift, a long-term procedure that will bring years of disruption but decades of payoff for the 108-year-old focal point of state government.
When the work begins in earnest in September, large sections of the Capitol will be gutted, sprawling sections of the green lawns will be sacrificed for construction crews and temporary parking, and bipartisan eviction notices will be delivered to the governor and all legislators.
The project is priced at $272.7 million and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2016.
The capital was designed by architect Cass Gilbert and is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance Revival architecture. It features Minnesota limestone and granite, 16 types of marble and large-scale murals.
The Capitol Preservation Commission outlined the pending renovations to the Capitol, which opened in 1905.
The project is designed to be completed in phases and includes repairing the deteriorating façade and modernizing the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life-safety, security and telecommunication systems.
Before things fire up in September, “asset preservation” work will continue during the summer.
Work already has taken place, including replacement of the drum windows in the dome, repairs to the west plaza and steps, and construction of a tunnel beneath University Avenue in coordination with construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit project to the north of the Capitol.