Cass Gilbert's signature

A Rare Sign

Today, visitors to the Capitol would have a hard time missing these oak sign boards and pedestals guiding them through the building and reminding them not to linger on the grand staircases. Current signs are mostly reproductions of Gilbert’s design made in 1988. Gilbert called them the R Instructional Sign. Only four of the original 35-count order are still under the care of MNHS. One original popped up in Foreston, Minnesota.

The discoverer of the sign, an antique collector, learned about the CGS project mere days after consigning it to an auction in St. Cloud. The sign sold at auction for $60.

The Stillwater Manufacturing Company produced the R Instructional Sign. They also made 83 of Gilbert’s Q Wardrobe for the Capitol. As of 2017, the company’s building still stands on the north end of downtown Stillwater and houses an antique mall.


R Instructional Sign

  • Attention To Detail: p52
  • Made by Probably Stillwater Manufacturing Company, Stillwater, Minnesota
  • Size (cm): width 42, height 154, depth 12
  • Designed by Cass Gilbert for corridors in the Capitol


  • 1905 order: 35
  • 1989 total: 4 + 13 reproductions
  • 2017 found outside of Capitol: 1


(1) Foreston, MN

Current Use


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