19th Century, Architecture, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, State Government

Capitol Construction 1898

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1898

“Alexander Ramsey, the 83-year-old first territorial governor of Minnesota, lays the cornerstone of the new state capitol. The building is completed after eight years of construction and a cost of $4.5 million. It is occupied in 1905. The building has been designed by local-architect-made-good Cass Gilbert, who also laid out the U of M campus and will draw up tall buildings in New York city.” *

Capitol buildings are symbols. They are designed for utility, but also to exude the authority and permanence of the state, the government, and the people they represent. Gilbert saw us as inheritor’s of Greek and Roman forms of representational government, and designed a capitol that reflected those influences.

It is easy to imagine that the farmers and loggers looked up and wondered, “What does all that marble have to do with lumber? The rotunda looks like a grain silo, but nothing is in it!?!” ‘Permanence’ to Gilbert may have looked like ‘opulence’ to citizens of the North Star state. Most were still recovering from the Panic of 1893.

“The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893.[1] Similar to the Panic of 1873, it was marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing, resulting in a series of bank failures. Compounding market overbuilding and the railroad bubble was a run on the gold supply. The Panic of ’93 was the worst economic depression the United States had ever experienced at the time.” **

In any regard, Lord, will You honor the heart of the architect Gilbert? Will You bless those Minnesotans’ who follow in his passion for designing our buildings and structures? Will You bless the workmen, both here and around the world, who provided their excellent labor and skill to create such a building?

Lord, will You forgive any judgments of the cost of the building during a time of economic  struggle? Will You forgive the politicians’ their excesses and pride in their workplace? Like the silo analogy, will You fill the rotunda with Your substance and vision, and not just a grandiose view?

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1893

*** Delve into the life of Cass Gilbert. http://www.cassgilbertsociety.org

 

 

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19th Century, Architecture, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Labor, Minnesota, omnipresent history

James J. Hill House Completed

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1891

“Rugged stone, massive scale, fine detail, and ingenious mechanical systems recall the powerful presence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway. Completed in 1891, the red sandstone residence was the setting of the public and private lives of the Hill family.” *

Lord, what is the importance of home construction in Your economy?  Albeit this is an impressive home, but why does it matter now? Will You guide my heart and mind toward Your thoughts on the matter?

Eternal Father, a commencement thought; our home reflects our character. Mr. Hill spent much his life on the epic tasks of building a railway. His home reflects a willingness to solve difficult problems: custom shaping stones, miles of board feet of trim, and making a castle comfortable enough to live in Minnesota’s weather extremes. 

So I want to bless the heritage of Mr. Hill’s patience, long-range planning, and tenacity to face both expected and unexpected problems.I want to bless the myriad of workmen who truly put their sweat and soul into their trades to make this home exceptional. Will You bless them and all their generations of tradesmen in the present? Will You help us view the trades as an act of worship?

I’m reminded that my Messiah chose to be a carpenter, and apprenticed under His earthly father. (Joseph) Will You help us, especially men, see that worship is not just obscure and ancient songs and rituals in a church, but in fitting pipes, framing walls, running electrical lines, and every kind of working with our hands? May all who labor in tasks that go unseen and unnoticed be blessed this day in Jesus’ name! 

Another idea that attaches to character; we can build to serve a function, or build to impress others. Lord, I will not condemn this man for the pursuit of greatness. I think You get the credit when we succeed at exceptional endeavors, I think a fractal of the light of Your character shines through any human who dares to do what they love.

But Lord hear this prayer, our lives are often like homes! We build for ‘curb appeal’. We erect lovely facades. We spend considerable time and effort on the way things look to the detriment of the way things are. We already possess the favor of the King of the Universe, but how we work for the favor of our fellow human beings?! 

Will You forgive James J. Hill the past sins of empire building? Will You release his heritage, our state, and even the ground that those objects of empire occupy from separations past, present, and future? Will You forgive us for the empire building in our hearts? Will You forgive us for maintaining facades we build to our own greatness? Will You help us humbly acknowledge the efforts others have spent in our successes? Father, have mercy! Christ, have mercy! Counselor, have mercy!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Civics, Energy, History, Industry, Intercession, Labor, Minnesota, Mississippi River

Industry at St. Anthony Falls 1872

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1872

Minneapolis industries cluster around the power of St. Anthony Falls. The Minneapolis Board of Trade estimates that the 95 waterwheels at the falls produce 6,000 horsepower.*

Lord, thank You for the gift of the Mississippi and those who harnessed its power. Thank You for the individuals and groups that contributed to its’ planning and investment? You work through those who skillfully manage money! Will You bless the entrepreneur? You work through those who take major risks to create business?

Too often we are guilty of failing to properly acknowledge the reflection of Your glory through the wonderful skills of tradesmen and women! Do You enjoy watching your people build? Will You bless these and their generations’: the cement worker, the engineer, the steel worker, the electrician, the riggers, the teamsters, and any other who labored on these projects?

Lord forgive us the sin of loving ‘science’ while simultaneously negating your creation. You had a plan for this city far before we began to envision what was possible. You created many electrical systems as well as the principals of hydraulics and physics in nature long before we were alerted to their existence.

How many more mysteries do You have to reveal to us? Forgive this root of ‘scientific pride’ in Minnesota. Will You replace it with humility and eternal curiosity that makes us better stewards of Your creation, technological advancement, and more receptivity to Your ideas?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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