How Architecture Has Shaped the State

Three Thousand Years of Building in Minnesota

Expert Essay: Architectural historian Larry Millett, author of Lost Twin Cities and numerous other books, offers a colorful tour of notable Minnesota buildings and building styles, from American Indian burial mounds to Beaux Arts monuments and suburban big boxes.

Scan of Buffington's drawing and floor plan of the first and second floors of the second State Capitol Building, which appeared in the St. Paul Daily Pioneer Press, August 29, 1881.

Buffington's drawing and floor plan

Buffington's drawing and floor plan of the first and second floors of the second State Capitol Building, which appeared in the St. Paul Daily Pioneer Press, August 29, 1881.

Black and white photograph of St. Paul looking up Cedar Street toward the third capitol building. The tower of the second capitol is visible left of center, 1904.  Photographed by Francis L. Wright.

View of St. Paul looking up Cedar Street toward the third capitol building

View of St. Paul looking up Cedar Street toward the third capitol building. The tower of the second capitol is visible left of center, 1904. Photographed by Francis L. Wright.

Black and white photograph of the Capitol approach, with Wabasha Street on the left, Cedar Street on the right, showing the site of the second state capitol as a parking lot, 1954.

Capitol approach

Capitol approach, with Wabasha Street on the left, Cedar Street on the right, showing the site of the second state capitol as a parking lot, 1954.

Black and white photograph of Richard R. Sackett, in charge of a historical records survey crew salvaging old documents at the second state capitol prior to demolition, inspects oak paneling, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Tribune.

Richard R. Sackett inspecting oak paneling at the second state capitol

Richard R. Sackett, in charge of a historical records survey crew salvaging old documents at the second state capitol prior to demolition, inspects oak paneling, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Tribune.

Black and white photograph of the stairway leading to the second floor of the second state capitol building prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by A.F. Raymond.

Stairway leading to the second floor of the second state capitol

Stairway leading to the second floor of the second state capitol building prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by A.F. Raymond.

Black and white photograph of the Supreme Court chamber in the second capitol building, partially dismantled prior to building demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Tribune.

Supreme Court chamber in the second capitol building

Supreme Court chamber in the second capitol building, partially dismantled prior to building demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Tribune.

Black and white photograph of the second state capitol prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Star Journal.

Second state capitol prior to demolition

Second state capitol prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Star Journal.

Black and white photograph of the flag case in the rotunda of the second capitol prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Star Journal.

Flag case in the rotunda of the second capitol

Flag case in the rotunda of the second capitol prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Star Journal.

Black and white photograph of the wrecking of the old State Capitol, St. Paul, 1938. Photographed by the St. Paul Dispatch.

Wrecking of the old State Capitol, St. Paul

Wrecking of the old State Capitol, St. Paul, 1938. Photographed by the St. Paul Dispatch.

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