By Associated Press - Monday, September 14, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Architect Cass Gilbert didn’t just design the Minnesota Capitol. He also designed much of the furniture he wanted inside it.

But about half of the 1,600 original pieces he designed have gone missing over the last century. Now, as a $309 million restoration moves toward completion in 2017, state officials are trying to find them, Minnesota Public Radio reports ( ).

The list includes ornate elevator doors, easy chairs and four roll-top desks that Gilbert designed for the governor’s suite of offices, said Brian Pease, the Minnesota Historical Society’s site manager at the Capitol. He said the desks are significant pieces that officials would like to track down.

“Those have disappeared from the building,” he said. “We don’t have any idea where they went.”

Pease said that over time, many pieces were sold, discarded or moved - some to other state government buildings, where they have remained.

“That’s something that we’ve allowed to happen, just because there isn’t any place to use those pieces of furniture - until the restoration project began,” he said. “That opens another door for an opportunity to bring as much of the historic furniture, the original Cass Gilbert furniture, back into the building.”

Wayne Waslaski, senior director of real estate and construction services for the Minnesota Department of Administration, said the furniture budget is $4.5 million. He said some missing pieces will be reproduced and others will be restored.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,

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