Twenty-four years after the previous state capitol building had been destroyed by fire, the current Minnesota state capital building opened on January 2, 1905. Thousands of residents and visitors traveled to St. Paul to witness the opening ceremony, while local papers boasted that theirs was the most beautiful state capitol in the nation.
The state government solicited bids and designs and decided to award the contract to Cass Gilbert, a leading architect of the era. Gilbert also directed the construction of 1,600 pieces of furniture and sculptures to ensure the interior was just as beautiful as the exterior of the building. Channing Seabury, a member of the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, served without pay for ten years in order to help in the construction effort.