Historic and recent Minnesota state capitol construction workers will be honored as part of the grand opening of the newly-restored building Sunday, Aug. 13.
At 2:30 p.m. that day, by the basement L’Etoile du Nord Vault (Room B-15), a plaque will be dedicated to memorialize workers who built the statehouse, especially the six who died in the original construction.
These workers and more than 620 others were identified by researchers for the project, “Who Built Our Capitol?” The research project, including a documentary film, was coordinated by the University of Minnesota Labor Education Service.
Many descendants and families of the 1896-1905 builders will attend the Aug. 13 ceremony. The original builders’ family members will be recognizable by buttons printed with “Family” over a 1902 construction photo, distributed during the event.
Immediately after the official plaque ceremony, between 3 and 4 p.m., in B-15, the Labor Education Service will host a gathering of descendants and families of original state capitol builders.
At 3 p.m. on the south lawn by the main entrance, the trades people who worked on the recent restoration of the capitol will be recognized and an ice cream social will be hosted, courtesy of Minnesota building trades unions.
Throughout the grand opening celebration, which runs from Aug. 11-13, the documentary film “Who Built Our Capitol?” will be screened, together with a display profiling seven of the workers who constructed the statehouse.
For a complete schedule of the August 11-13 grand opening festivities, including tours, entertainment and speakers, visit the grand opening website.
Reprinted from the Minneapolis Labor Review.