Science Museum of Minnesota

Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN

Architect / Designer: Ellerbe Becket, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
Cast Stone Supplier: American Artstone, New Ulm, MN

The Science Museum of Minnesota bridges downtown St. Paul with the Mississippi river valley, whose physical characteristics include century-old massive stone walls made from huge blocks of limestone. Brick and cast-stone veneers shape the many facets of the 7-level, 369,000 sq. foot structure. The challenge was blending the new building into the valley by re-creating these walls. But because it was cost prohibitive to build new cut-stone walls, the architect needed to replicate them.

American Artstone’s cast stone, made with Lehigh white cement, was selected because they could create a perfectly molded surface texture in order to replicate the massive stone walls.  To create the panels, American Artstone commissioned hand cut latex molds in seven unique stone patterns that were sequenced and randomly reversed to avoid repetition.

In addition to mimicking the bluffs, the museum’s cast stone facades blend with the hand-cut limestone bridge piers and retaining walls built when the area was settled 150 years ago.