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Minnesota State Capitol

St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota State Capitol Restoration project done by Advanced Masonry Restoration

AMR spent five years as part of the project team preserving the Minnesota State Capitol. The State Capitol is Minnesota’s most recognized building that was designed and built in the early 1900s by the architect Cass Gilbert.

Project Scope

  • Repointing of masonry mortar joints
  • Rebuilding decorative marble balustrade
  • Replicating interior Guastavino tile ceiling

Owner

State of Minnesota

Category

Historical, Institutional

Interior Renovation

Scope of Work for Interior work at State Capital

Remove all existing fasteners and unused anchors and patch all existing holes, replace missing tiles in existing Guastavino tile ceiling to match color and pattern of existing adjacent material. Included repair and alteration of existing stone surfaces: Kasota limestone, marble, terrazzo floors; resetting cracked stone, replacing missing pieces, replacing bad patches, grouting stone joints and repairing surface damage to stone face.

MATERIALS:

  • Epoxy tinted for the terrazzo floors
  • Jahns M-1 stone patched. Mixed to match the texture of what it was going on to, and then colorized to match the surrounding stone and patina
  • Cemstone Type N mortar pigmented with prism pigments to match the existing mortar
  • Edison thinfill 45 on the Guastavino Ceiling. Glazed with a terra cotta glaze to match the existing finish.
  • Jahns granite patching for the black granite

CHALLENGES:

The project had plenty of daily challenges, some of the hurdles that AMR overcame were:

  • When contemplating the repairs on the Guastavino Tile ceiling that was pock-marked with old ceiling grid support hangers, the journeywomen had to develop a patching mortar that would hold, and then match the existing color of the tile and finally develop techniques to match the profile of the tiles. All the above items were completed through trial and error along with knowledge from previous projects that created the center piece of our entry, the completed Guastavino tile ceiling in the East Porte cochere of the Capitol that had been hidden for years. (Note the blue tape in the photos, they mark just a portion of locations that had to be brought back to original)
  • After installing any one of the over 1200 repairs on all the floors, AMR had to mark on the plans the locations of the repairs for later architectural inspections. Over 90% of the patches were not able to be found without these as-built drawing; which subsequently have been turned over to the State of Minnesota.
    The overall project took over one year, with over 1200 repairs of masonry on all the interior masonry in various locations throughout the complex.