The paint ("Norway House Blue") is dry. The glacier mosaic tile is set. The vertical garden of preserved reindeer moss has been hung. The doors are open.
A fixture on E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis since 2015, the nonprofit Norway House just completed a $19.6 million addition to its signature blue building, turning the block into "a home for all things Norwegian," says executive director Christina Carleton.
In addition to the Norwegian Honorary Consulate General, the stylish, modern addition is home to Concordia Language Villages and other tenants, as well as a business accelerator for Norwegian-based companies.
It also houses a cafe (think strong coffee, waffles with lingonberries and killer ginger cookies), an outpost of Ingebretsen's Nordic Marketplace and an art gallery with rotating shows.
Carleton is quick to point out, however, that Norway House, is not a museum.
"We're an arts, business and cultural center," she says.
The boulder-rimmed exterior plaza connects to the century-old Mindekirken Church, one of the few Lutheran churches in America where services are still in Norwegian.
The plaza also boasts Minneapolis' answer to Chicago's "Bean." The 16 ½-foot-tall, pinecone-shaped sculpture is crafted from polished steel, which has reflective surfaces. Still to come is the archival library and genealogy research center.
So what does one do at the Norway House? Aside from attending an art opening or taking part in an Edvard Grieg music festival, the Minnesota Peace Initiative or the annual gingerbread display, one might get married in the aula (hall), which seats 220 for dinner, or holds 330 for a business conference.
There are simpler choices, too. Settle your knitting club into a cozy nook or pull up a chair next to the fireplace and read a book.
You know, just like home.
The Norway House, 913 E. Franklin Av., norwayhouse.org