ST. PAUL - Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, accepted an appointment to serve on a commission that will formulate a major restoration plan for Minnesota’s Capitol building in St. Paul.
The Capitol opened to the public in 1905 and its age is showing through structural deficiencies, code issues and accessibility shortcomings. Urdahl will serve on the Capitol Preservation Commission which will study exactly what work is necessary and prioritize when it should be completed.
For starters, Urdahl said there are leaks in the Capitol's roof and loose panels which need immediate attention. He also said the commission will examine the status of deteriorating mechanical systems, determine what safety-related updates are necessary and investigate adaptations needed to provide full accessibility for people with disabilities.
“This is important work since the Capitol is a Minnesota icon and it is our responsibility to uphold this legacy for future generations of Minnesotans,” Urdahl said. “Over the years, immediate needs have been addressed through quick fixes. The deficiencies evident today require a long-term, comprehensive solution and it is time to get serious before the building falls into even further disrepair.”
The Capitol Preservation Commission was created through legislation Urdahl successfully led to passage this year as chairman of the Legacy Division. House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, appointed Urdahl to the panel.
A 2001 pre-design inspection revealed many of the aforementioned issues and restoration projects currently are underway with the upper dome and signature golden-horse Quadriga.