Capella Tower

First opened in downtown Minneapolis in 1992 as First Bank Place, the new headquarters for First Bank System, and later renamed in 1997 as US Bancorp Place, the building has been known as Capella Tower since 2009, taking its name from Capella Education Co., currently the largest tenant in the building and owner of the online for-profit Capella University. The building has 1.4 million square feet of office space and is connected to the Minneapolis Skyway System. Its design, by Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners, combines six-story cubes with various round towers, echoing the different styles of buildings downtown. The distinctive illuminated semicircle atop the tower, while certainly decorative, also houses an antenna farm and communications network. This feature has also given the building the nickname the “Halo Building”.

For awhile, the ranking of Capella as the tallest in Minneapolis was in dispute. However, today the IDS Center is considered to be taller by several measures:

  1. In 2005, after it was revealed that contractors had surreptitiously added 14 inches of height to Capella, making it a few inches taller than the IDS Center at 776 feet, the IDS began counting a 16-foot-tall window washing garage, bringing its own height to 792 feet. The “halo” extending out from the roof of Capella has only added to the confusion.
  2. If one considers the IDS’s communications spires, it would be significantly taller than Capella, or 910 feet.
  3. And if measured by the number of stories, the IDS would be tied for first with 57 (along with the neighboring Wells Fargo Center, which 775 feet in height), while the Capella Tower has one less (56).
  • Viewed: Countless times since its opening in 1992

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