Born in 1916, Martin Capp grew up on St. Paul’s West Side. After serving in the Coast Guard during World War II, he went to work for a lumber company in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1947 he moved back to Minnesota, and started Capp Homes. The company sold pre-cut lumber to build houses featured in the Capp Homes Catalog. Owners could build their own homes or hire Capp workers to do the job.
In the 1960’s Capp sold his prefabricated housing business and focused on a new commercial, building and leasing business.
Completed in 1962, the 14-story Capp Towers Motor Hotel at 1313 Nicollet Avenue South cost $6.5 million to build. The 350 room hotel contained a bar and restaurant for every mood, an underground garage, and rooftop pool enclosed in glass. The infamous “Dome at the Top of the Capp” had a low circular bar in the middle of a round room. Bartenders worked in a pit so everybody could take in a 360 degree view. In the evening small musical combos worked an elevated revolving platform in the middle of the bar. The unique stage rose and descended from the floor to allow entrances and exits.
Capp Industries still owns the Minneapolis tower on the south end of Nicollet Mall. Over the years, the building has been rebranded as the Regal Minneapolis Hotel, Park Inn, Holiday Inn Central and the Millennium Hotel.