One afternoon, the Capitol Furnishings project team gathered at Claddagh Coffee on West 7th Street in Saint Paul to discuss their progress. They found themselves sitting at one of the pieces they’d been trying to hunt down. Claddagh’s owner, Mary, furnished the coffee shop with high-top tables, comfy couches, and, to the team’s astonishment, a table from the State Capitol.
The N Work Table has a simple but sturdy design. Built by Bohn Manufacturing Company and designed by Gilbert, the tables were intended for offices throughout the Capitol. Some had drawers, some did not, and the dimensions vary slightly. By the late 1980s, 35 of the original 100 ordered still remained in the Capitol and nearby state buildings.
The table is the only item of furniture produced by Bohn, a St. Paul company, for the Capitol. Bohn later began manufacturing refrigerators and ultimately was acquired by Whirlpool.
Mary said she looked all over the state for furniture to fill her shop, which opened in 2011. This table, however, she was thrilled to find at an auction at a private residence near Portland Avenue and Mackubin Street near her home in St. Paul. The project team gathered around the table several times over the course of the project; it seemed to be the most appropriate and inspiring spot!
(1) Claddagh Coffee, St. Paul, Minnesota