Minnesota Capitol renovation wins final approval

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In a final go-ahead vote, the Capitol Preservation Committee on Monday approved a massive $272 million renovation project at the Minnesota Capitol that could take several years, the Star Tribune reports.

Crews could start ripping up the sprawling lawn on the Capitol grounds within weeks and some exterior on the 108-year-old building could be demolished not long after Labor Day, the newspaper reported.

In a story earlier this month, the Star Tribune noted that the renovation could be "miserable" for those who work in and around the Capitol, and the tourists who visit.

“Short-term pain for long-term gain,” Department of Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk said Monday, the newspaper reported.

The restoration work will update a number of buildings systems and structures, including plumbing and electrical systems. Leaky windows are to be replaced, and crews will set to work on the building's crumbling marble facade.

The Pioneer Press took readers on a tour of the aging building earlier this year (with video).

Want just a bit more detail? Here's the project manual (it's more than 500 pages).

And here are some fast facts about the building from the Minnesota Historical Society, including this: The current Capitol, designed by renown architect Cass Gilbert, is the state's third. The first was destroyed by fire and the second was too small and demolished.

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