Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial Wins National Steel Building Award

October 21, 2015

(Chicago, IL) – The Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial in St. Paul, Minn., has earned national recognition in the 2015 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a ceremony at the structure on Tuesday, October 27 at 4 p.m.

Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEASawards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country. The IDEASaward is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S. and recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

The structure’s project team members include:

  • Owner: Minnesota Fire Service Foundation, Eden Prairie, Minn.
  • Architect and Structural Engineer: Leo A. Daly, Minneapolis (entered project in the competition)
  • General Contractor: Meisinger Construction, South St. Paul, Minn.

The Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial is a Merit award winner in the category of projects Less than $15 Million, making it one of only seven projects around the country to receive the Merit honor. Each year, the IDEASawards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: projects less than $15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective, with an emphasis on: creative solutions to project’s program requirements; applications of innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire protection and blast; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS); technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; and the use of innovative design and construction methods.

“A strong, lyrical addition to a park, this field of randomly placed, slender steel columns, supporting a monolithic steel canopy, evokes the poles in a firehouse down which a firefighter would glide,” commented IDEASawards judge, Cathleen McGuigan, editor-in-chief ofArchitectural Record, as well as editorial director of GreenSource and SNAP.

The memorial, located on the State Capitol grounds in Saint Paul, honors the sacrifice of Minnesota firefighters killed in the line of duty. It houses the Minnesota Firefighter Memorial Statue, previously on display at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

The basic design requirement was that the site needed to be a living memorial—in its materiality, organization and pattern of use—and the state desired a place to honor its fallen fire fighters while providing a place for contemplating the nature of the fire service. The entire construction period was five months from contract award to final completion (from May to September 2012).

Approaching the monument, the ground rises to present visitors with a cast stone-faced wall inscribed with names of fire departments from throughout the state. A large steel monolith hovers above the focal point of the site where the statue stands, forming a pavilion to mediate between the monumental scale of the Capitol grounds and the life‐scale of the statue. A field of several light steel columns supports the weight of the monolith above, and names of the fallen are inscribed on the columns. Visitors move in the shadow of the monolith through the multitude of columns to encounter the statue, bathed in light from a mirrored void in the monolith above. Outside the pavilion a bench provides a comfortable place for reflection.

The IDEASaward dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning memorial, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC, said, “The entire Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a structure that serves its purpose extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

High-resolution images of the Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial project are available upon request by contacting AISC’s Tasha Weiss at 312.670.5439 or For more information about the IDEASawards and to view all of this year’s winners, please visit


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Marketing Communications Strategist

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

130 E. Randolph St, Suite 2000
Chicago IL 60601