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Photo Essay
Minnesota AFL-CIO begins construction of new state fair pavilion

April 22, 2008

Photo essay by Steve Share, Labor Review editor

State fair visitors this year will find a new pavilion showcasing the Minnesota AFL-CIO and affiliated unions. The state labor federation began demolition of the current structure April 22 — Earth Day — to highlight the green building standards that will be followed for the new "House of Labor" at the fairgrounds.

A short ceremony April 22 preceeded the start of demolition. Speakers included Minnesota AFL-CIO leaders and Al Franken, AFL-CIO endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate.

McGough is the general contractor for the $1 million project.

See news story.

Above: Minnesota AFL-CIO leaders and representatives of affiliated unions gathered for a ceremony to mark the start of demolition of the current House of Labor at the state fairgrounds.

Above: Darrell Ray, retired Carpenters union business agent (left), was recognized for his 32 years staffing the House of Labor at the state fair. "It was fun," he said. Ray made wooden benches at the fair and gave them away to people visiting the House of Labor.

Above: Al Franken, AFL-CIO endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate, highlighted that the new House of Labor will be built according to green building standards. "These are the jobs of the future here in Minnesota, not just the future, but the present."

Above: A backhoe began demolition. The backhoe operator was Shane Davdt, a member of Operating Engineers Local 49. Davdt, a resident of Zimmerman, said he is a former 4H member who spent time at the state fair. "I showed sheep here for many years."

Above: The subcontractor demolishing the old House of Labor says debris will be recycled. "We're going to recycle everything possible, all the concrete, all the steel," said Ryan Olson, general supervisor of demolition for Veit (and a 49er). "95 percent of the building will be recycled," he said.


Right: Darrell Ray (left) and Pam Donato (right), president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 9 in Minneapolis. Donato holds a brick salvaged from the House of Labor. Donato said NALC has always been a part of the House of Labor."It's all about people," she said.

Left: Diane O'Brien, communications director for the Minnesota AFL-CIO, showed off the new House of Labor "on a stick." The cardboard sleeve attached to the stick contained a CD for the media with architect's drawings of the new House of Labor.


Above: Representatives of the Cunningham Group, architects for the new House of Labor, showed a drawing of the new pavilion. Left to right: Brian Tempas, principal; Dan Grothe, project architect; Charlie Stoffel, architect.

Architect's drawing of the new House of Labor, currently under construction and scheduled for completion by opening day of this year's State Fair.

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