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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.

Color image of the altar and baldachin (decorative canopy) inside the St. Paul Cathedral. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Altar and baldachin

Altar and baldachin (decorative canopy) inside the St. Paul Cathedral. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Color image of an interior view of the dome of the St. Paul Cathedral. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Dome ceiling

Interior view of the dome of the St. Paul Cathedral. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Color image of the decorative altar ceiling inside the St. Paul Cathedral. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Altar ceiling

Decorative altar ceiling inside the St. Paul Cathedral. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Color image of a relief statue of St. Paul carved by Leon Hermant for the exterior of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Statue of St. Paul

Relief statue of St. Paul carved by Leon Hermant for the exterior of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Color image of a west-facing view of the main seating area of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Main seating area

West-facing view of the main seating area of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Color image of Tinos marble from Greece inside the north vestibule of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 16, 2014.

Tinos marble

Close-up view of Tinos marble from Greece inside the north vestibule of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 16, 2014.

Color image of the Cathedral of St. Paul’s St. Peter chapel. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 16, 2014.

St. Peter chapel

The Cathedral of St. Paul’s St. Peter chapel. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 16, 2014.

Color photograph of the Cathedral of St. Paul’s Sacred Heart chapel. Rojo Alicante marble is visible behind the statue. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014

Sacred Heart chapel

The Cathedral of St. Paul’s Sacred Heart chapel. Rojo Alicante marble is visible behind the statue. Photographed by Paul Nelson on July 10, 2014.

Color postcard of the fourth Cathedral of St. Paul, c.1956.

Fourth Cathedral of St. Paul

The fourth Cathedral of St. Paul, c.1956.

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