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Rep. Matt Dean calls North Dakota's Capitol "embarrassing," draws rebuke from NoDak guv

A bit phallic, yes, but certainly not an embarrassment to the good people of North Dakota.
A bit phallic, yes, but certainly not an embarrassment to the good people of North Dakota.

During House debate on an ill-fated bill to renovate Minnesota's Capitol building, Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, took a pot shot at North Dakota's "Skyscraper on the Prairie."

"Wisconsin has a pretty nice Capitol," Dean said. "Iowa has a fairly nice Capitol. North Dakota, I mean my goodness grief. Has anybody seen North Dakota's Capitol? "It's like State Farm Insurance called, they want their office building back. I mean, it's terrible. It's embarrassing."

NoDak's 19-story, Art Deco-inspired Capitol is the tallest building in the state. Constructed in the 1930s, it was designed by a tag-team of North Dakota architects along with the famed Chicago architectural firm of Holabird and Root. Though the depression-era building was constructed with a plain concrete and stone exterior in order to keep costs down, it's a source of state pride for many, including NoDak Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Dalrymple, when told of Dean's your-Capitol-looks-like-a-drab-insurance-office remark, said he thinks the Skyscraper on the Prairie is "one of the most pleasing [Capitols] in the United States." He characterized the building as a classic example example of Chicago-style skyscraper design and suggested that haters who don't appreciate it clearly haven't studied architecture.

Dean apparently drank some NoDak haterade before yesterday's hearing.
Dean apparently drank some NoDak haterade before yesterday's hearing.

Asked about his NoDak bash after the hearing, Dean explained that his comment was meant as a playful dig at fellow House Republican Kurt Zellers, who is a North Dakota native.

Dean should know better than to throw stones from a glass house. After all, with the Capitol repair bill failing by one vote yesterday, it's not like Minnesota's house of government is the envy of the nation.

In December, WCCO reported that the Minnesota Capitol has "a leaky dome, heavy water damage and pieces of the building are literally falling off." I don't know about you, but I'd take the Skyscraper on the Hill over that dilapidated mess any day.


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