MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The three-year, $310-million renovation of the Minnesota State Capitol is complete.
This weekend marks the grand re-opening of the 112-year-old building.
The state is kicking-off a free public party on Friday that lasts all weekend – and this isn’t your run-of-the-mill party. Sixty-thousand people are expected.
There are activities planned morning until night, including music, free food, fireworks and behind-the-scenes tours of Capitol spaces many of us have never seen.
“It really is about the people of Minnesota being able to access their democracy effectively for the next 100 years,” said Minnesota Administration Commissioner Matt Massman.
He oversaw the top-to-bottom renovation, which included restoring 57 murals to their original vibrant color; replacing 5,000 pieces of stone — some weighing 2,000 pounds; and reviving areas of the Capitol closed to the public for years, like the front porch balcony.
“It will be the first time people will be able to see it in decades.” Massman said.
The weekend grand re-opening will feature behind-the-scenes public tours of the Supreme Court, the House and Senate, new public spaces featuring historical paintings — and the private personal office of the Minnesota governor.
“So we really hope to give tours, just this weekend, a special tour of the Capitol, and something that’s not on a normal tour,” Massman said.
Visitors can climb high atop the Capitol — which has 115,418 pounds of new copper — and see what it looked like in 1905.
And there will be an up close-and-personal look at the Quadriga, with its golden horses newly-restored with gold leaf. They are much brighter, and much larger than you think.
The Capitol Grand-Re-Opening Party includes free blueberry muffin and yogurt breakfast, morning yoga on the Capitol lawn and fireworks at night. There will be a craft beer tent for adults and a kid zone.
A music stage will also feature Minnesota artists, and there will be a Prince dance party on Friday night.