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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Ford Building Working Group

Active dates:2005-2006
Established by Commissioner of Administration

The Commissioner of Administration convened the Ford Building Working Group on Sept. 15, 2005. The group met five times to develop recommendations to the Legislature, due by January 15, 2006, regarding the desirability and potential means of preserving and using the state-owned Ford Building at 117 University Avenue in St. Paul.


The 2005 Legislature placed a moratorium on the demolition of the Ford Building until June 30, 2007 and directed the Commissioner of Administration to report to the Legislature by January 15, 2006, with recommendations regarding the desirability and potential means of preserving and using the Ford Building. The report was to include:

  • The availability of potential lessees for the building.
  • Constraints on leasing the building, including the requirement to payoff any state general obligation bonds previously used in maintaining or rehabilitating the building.
  • The cost of restoring and rehabilitating the building, and the feasibility of various means of paying these costs, including potential use of revenue bonds.

The Commissioner of Administration convened a working group of interested legislators, private sector real estate professionals, historic preservation specialists and representatives of the City of St. Paul, neighboring property owners and St. Paul neighborhood associations. The Commissioner appointed Jim Rhodes, Legislative Director of the Department of Administration, as chair of the working group. The group met initially on September 15, 2005. Subsequent meetings were held October 19, November 22, December 14 and January 10 at the State Administration Building.

The following are the consensus findings and recommendations of the Ford Building Working Group:

  • The Ford Building has historical significance and should not be sold, moved or demolished.
  • The building should be minimally heated (approximately 45 degrees) while it is "mothballed." The exterior of the building and the surrounding grounds should be maintained at a level that is expected in the Capitol area.
  • The building should be used for interim office space during restoration of the State Capitol.
  • The building and building site should be evaluated in the context of state government, neighborhood and regional objectives, including historic preservation and sustainable community goals.
  • Minnesota's cultural and historic resources are important civic assets. While the redevelopment of historic structures can present unique financial challenges, their preservation and rehabilitation can serve to strengthen communities. The State Legislature should identify and employ financial strategies and tools that encourage stewardship and facilitate reinvestment in the preservation and enhancement of historic buildings.

The following individuals served on the working group: John Arlandson, Rep. Greg Blaine, Kathleen Blair, Britta Bloomberg, Gerrie Boice, Carol Carey, Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, Rep. Matt Dean, Rep. Dan Dorman, John Errigo, Rep. Pat Garofalo, Karl Haddeland, Sen. Linda Higgins, Jerry Hoffman, Rep. Carl Jacobson, Rep. Sheldon Johnson, Jared Jordal, Rep. Phyllis Kahn, David Kelliher, Christine Kiel, Sen. Sheila Kiscaden, Rory Koch, Charles Liddy, Sven Lindquist, Rep. Diane Loeffler, Kevin Lundeen, Paul Mandell, Brian McMahon, Debbie Montgomery, Scott Neske, Krysta Niedemhofer, Troy Olsen, Mary Olson, Rep. Mark Olson, Sen. Sandy Pappas, Pastor Patrick Patterson, Dick Pellow, LaRissa Peltola, Rep. Neil Peterson, Helen Roberts, Marge Romero, Patricia Rooney, Rep. Marty Seifert, Rep. Loren Solberg, Amy Spong, Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, Pastor Sue Tjomehoj, and Renee Tyler. 

Department of Administration Staff: Jim Rhodes (convener), Wayne Waslaski, Jim Schwartz, Benjamin Brandenberg, Georgie Peterson (facilitator).

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2006-2007.
Record last updated: 03/04/2020

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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