Frederick William Cappelen

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Frederick William Cappelen (October 21, 1857 – October 16, 1921) was a Norwegian-born architect and civil engineer who held the office of Minneapolis City Engineer.[1]

Frederick William Cappelen was born in Drammen, Norway. He attended school in Fredrikstad in Østfold county, Norway. He was educated at the Technical School in Örebro, Sweden and then at the Royal Saxon Polytechnicum (now Dresden University of Technology) in Dresden, Germany before emigrating to the United States in 1880.[2]

Cappelen was initially employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad and in 1886 became a City of Minneapolis bridge engineer. He was elected City Engineer in 1893 and re-elected in 1913. He held membership in the American Society of Municipal Improvements and the Minneapolis Society of Engineers. He was elected a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers on April 3, 1895.[1]

The F.W. Cappelen Memorial Bridge (Franklin Avenue Bridge), Minneapolis.

Cappelen was responsible for the design of many public works buildings in Minneapolis, for example the Prospect Park Water Tower,[3] the Kenwood Park Water Tower,[4] and the Cappelen Memorial Bridge, which is named in honor of him.[5]

Frederick William Cappelen died during the construction of the bridge, and as a memorial to his life and career, the bridge still bears his name.[6]


  1. ^ a b "ASCE Minnesota Historic Civil Works 2008 Calendar" (PDF). American Society of Civil Engineers. Retrieved 2009-05-06.[dead link]
  2. ^ Kenneth Bjork (1947). Saga in Steel and Concrete: Norwegian Engineers in America. Northfield, MN. Norwegian-American Historical Association. pp. 141–142. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  3. ^ "Prospect Park Water Tower and Tower Hill Park — Minneapolis, MN" Waymark". Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  4. ^ "Kenwood Park Water Tower". Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  5. ^ Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Volume 47 (New York: American Society of Civil Engineers. 1948) [1]
  6. ^ "History of the Grand Rounds" (pdf). Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. Retrieved 2009-05-06.