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A look back at who built the Minnesota Capitol

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State Capitol
In this May 19, 2013 photo, workmen can be seen going about their job as scaffolding surrounds much of the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn.
AP Photo/Jim Mone

A massive restoration of the Minnesota Capitol is in full swing this winter, as noted by the fact that the entire face of the building is covered. 

There's also a noticeable lack of space during the legislative session -- two-thirds of the Capitol is closed to the public this year. It's so cramped that visitors are directed to portable toilets outside the building and there's been talk among lawmakers of cramming next year's session into this year's to eliminate the need to gather again in 2016, when the project will be in even fuller swing.

This widely-supported $272 million renovation project is a good chance to look back at the turn of the 20th Century, when the Capitol was first built. 

Minnesotans might recall that the famed architect Cass Gilbert designed and oversaw construction of the building, on his way to an illustrious career that included designing the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington.

Randy Croce from the University of Minnesota's Labor Education Service looked into the history of the people who built the capitol and joins The Daily Circuit to discuss the unknown faces behind one of Minnesota's most beloved architectural marvels.

Croce speaks Tuesday at the Minnesota History Center as part of the MNHS's History Lounge Series.