St. Paul, Minnesota
National register of historic places

This area was originally intended as an intersecting circulation space in the Cass Gilbert plan. Over time and out of necessity, the space was modified to become a hearing room. It was desired that the new design be completed in the style and with the feature of 1950s modernism, rather than as a faithful interpretation of the Gilbert Design vocabulary.

Several alternatives were explored before finding consensus in the present design. The results completely updated the technology, refurbished those elements that were appropriate, defined the visitor areas from the senate, created a popular and successful interpretation architecturally, modified all lighting, designed new sconces at the perimeter of the space, and addressed acoustic issues within the limitations of the room. The most significant modification was the creation of the plaster coffered dome over the hearing area that incorporates lighting while creating an appropriate canopy. This canopy stands in stark contrast to the hexagonal fluorescent canopy that it replaced.