Capitol renovation at $272 million

Capitol renovation at $272 million Click to Enlarge Photo:

Dec 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The gleaming white marble for the Minnesota Capitol exterior travels quite a path before crews restoring the building put the stone into place.

It's drawn from a quarry in north Georgia and then meticulously carved in Toronto.

When it comes to sprucing up the Capitol, officials are taking pains to pay proper respect to renowned architect Cass Gilbert's original design. It helps explain why the restoration budget is more than $272 million for a building that originally cost $4.5 million.

The building was brilliant white when the Capitol opened in 1905, but the facade now lacks luster and its delicate features have crumbled in spots.

Lead architect Michael Bjornberg says the glimmer that Gilbert was so intent on delivering will return by the time all is done in early 2017.

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