Official Seal of the City of Minneapolis

The official seal of the City of Minneapolis was adopted by the Minneapolis City Council on June 5, 1878. The Seal’s design – as in emblems of this type – was representative of the City at the time. The seal consists of a shield centered on a round form. The shield contains a pictorial view of St. Anthony Falls, the old suspension bridge across the lower channel of the Mississippi River (between Nicollet Island and the West Bank), mill buildings, and the skyline of 1878 Minneapolis. In the foreground there are symbols of the city’s early fortune: A plowshare, a shock of grain and a barrel of flour, a gear wheel, a large circular saw blade, and a stack of lumber.

Above the shield in the rays of light is the City’s motto "En Avant" (French – meaning ‘Forward’).

Plaster Replica of City of Minneapolis Seal in City Hall

A plaster replica of City of Minneapolis Seal currently hangs in Room 132, City Hall. This is a five foot plaster replica of the City Seal that was originally cast and set into the old Minneapolis Auditorium in 1927. Over the years, smudge and grime took its toll and Seal began to deteriorate and ‘disappear’ into the ornate pattern of the stage arch. When the Auditorium was remodeled and expanded in 1965, the Seal was removed, placed in storage and used as a model for a 26 foot cut stone copy that was restored on the east façade of the building.

In 1967, the Minneapolis City Council decided that the replica was too valuable to be discarded or relegated to a dusty store room. Arrangements were made with John Dunn, Assistant Professor in the Sculpture Department of the Minneapolis School of Art for its restoration. On Dec. 8, 1967, the City Council approved a resolution to move the restored replica of the City Seal to Minneapolis City Hall, to be centered and hung behind the front lectern of the Minneapolis City Council Chamber.

In 2001, when the historic restoration of the Minneapolis City Council Chamber was undertaken, the plaster replica of the Seal, which was not part of the original design of the chamber, was moved to Conference Room 132 where it currently hangs on the east wall.

There is a smaller plaster seal, also from the old Convention Center, that hangs in the City Council Chamber behind the dais.  This seal was unveiled at a Sesquicentennial ceremony in the Council Chamber on July 18, 2008.

Last updated Sep. 27, 2011