1976-2004 Ice Palaces

1976 – 2004 Ice Palaces

The 1976 U.S. Bi-Centennial palace was built at 7th and Minnesota Streets, and was designed by Craig Rafferty and Jeri Zuber, who’d won the competition sponsored by the St. Paul Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This palace of undulating walls of manufactured ice was laid out in a
symmetrical plan reminiscent of the 1886 palace.

1976 Ice Palace

Ellerbe architect, Karl Ermanis, won the design competition for the 1986 palace, built on Picnic
Island at Lake Phalen Park, whose lake supplied the ice for construction. Ermanis designed this palace as a series of towering inverted icicles. Despite warm weather, the remaining tower qualified as the tallest manmade ice structure at that time, 128’9”, and was seen by over one million people.

1986 Ice Palace

Architect, Bill Rust from White Bear Lake, designed a small palace on Harriet Island in 1988. He was selected again to build the 1992 palace on Harriet Island that coincided with 26th Super Bowl. Rust’s unique structural system, which included concrete footings, carried the weight of the record-breaking 166’9” palace tower. The ice traveled from Green Lake, over 100 miles to the west. The cost over runs for this carnival and palace led to a restructuring of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation in early 1992.

1992 Ice Palace drawing
1992 Ice Palace during construction

In 2004 across from Xcel Energy Center, a SLL/Leo A Daly Architects & Engineers design allowed visitors inside an ice palace for the first time since 1941. A slow freeze-up in area lakes meant that the
ice blocks were very narrow, giving the palace a more massive look than it already had in its design.

Featured image: The 2004 Ice Palace

More Ice Palace History:
1886 Ice Palace
1887 Ice Palace
1888 Ice Palace
1889-1900 Ice Palaces
1916-1917 Ice Palaces
1930-1937 Ice Palaces
1938-1941 Ice Palaces
1942-1975 Ice Palaces
1976-2004 Ice Palaces