Promoters are planning to build a world-record Ice Palace on the front lawn of the State Capitol, not only for the 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival but also to wow Super Bowl visitors. Architect-of-record John Culligan says, “We are welcoming the world to Minnesota. What better place to do that than on our front lawn, at the Capitol Mall.” The plan is for a series of towers ranging in height from 40 to 170 feet. An outline was presented to a special committee at the State Capitol Thursday and organizers expect a public announcement in a few weeks.
Culligan says ice palaces melt, but memories of them are frozen in time: “We’re still talking about a palace that was built 130 years ago, and the opportunity here exists to do the exact same thing, so that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will again be able to talk about that unbelievable Ice Palace in 2018.” Culligan adds the project will be a statewide effort. Ice, for example, will be harvested in Detroit Lakes “because that ice will be a lot thicker a lot earlier than ours is here.”