December 3, 2014 •
This week we visit the state of Colorado and its capitol building. Located in the “Mile High City” of Denver, the capitol building was constructed in the 1890’s, and almost two decades later a 24 karat gold plated dome was […]
This week we visit the state of Colorado and its capitol building.
Located in the “Mile High City” of Denver, the capitol building was constructed in the 1890’s, and almost two decades later a 24 karat gold plated dome was added in commemoration of Colorado’s gold rush days.
The building’s exterior is composed of Colorado white granite, while its interior contains two rare types of marble: rose and mauve. In fact, the marble was so rare that its known supply was completely used up in the construction of the capitol, a process that took six years to complete. In fact, the building itself was composed with the nation’s capitol in mind.
The interior is composed of brass and stained glass with the dome towering 180 feet above. Inside you’ll find beautifully painted portraits of each U.S. president from Washington to Clinton. On the first floor are the offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor.
The capitol also serves as the center for legislation, housing the House and Senate Chambers, as well as the Legislative Hearing Room, which was formerly the state Supreme Court Chambers. The House of Representatives Gallery and the Senate Gallery are magnificently decorated with beautiful stained glass pieces as well as embedded brass, its luxurious features complemented with comfortable theater seating.
Thank you once again for joining us this week during our exploration of and education on the wonderful state of Colorado’s capitol. You can take a virtual tour of the Colorado Capitol, or arrange for an actual tour here.
Don’t forget to join us as we take on yet another statehouse!
Photo of the Colorado State Capitol by Greg O’Beirne on Wikimedia Commons.
November 25, 2014 •
Today we welcome you back to the statehouse series. This time we visit Massachusetts! The “new” Massachusetts statehouse was built in 1798 on top of Beacon Hill. Charles Bullfinch, the architect, was influenced by London architecture. Many buildings in London, […]
Today we welcome you back to the statehouse series. This time we visit Massachusetts!
The “new” Massachusetts statehouse was built in 1798 on top of Beacon Hill. Charles Bullfinch, the architect, was influenced by London architecture. Many buildings in London, such as the Dulwich Gallery and the British Museum, have the same Neoclassical style as the Massachusetts statehouse. The site of the current statehouse was owned by Massachusetts’ first governor, John Hancock.
Like the Vermont statehouse, the Massachusetts statehouse dome is covered in gold leaf, but is topped with a pinecone, reflecting the significance of lumber in the Massachusetts economy. The dome was originally made of wooden shingles, but Paul Revere covered it in copper in 1802, and it was first gilded in 1874. During World War II, it was painted black to eliminate reflections and divert bombers away from the city. The dome remained black until 1997, when it was recovered in gold leaf at the cost of $300,000.
One of the most notable attractions of the Massachusetts statehouse is the Sacred Cod. The wooden codfish hangs above the chamber of the House of Representatives to signify the importance of fishing in the state. The grounds also display many statues of famous Massachusetts residents, such as John F. Kennedy and Daniel Webster. Created in 1990, the statue of John F. Kennedy stands as the newest figure on the grounds.
Since the 1880s, Massachusetts governors have carried on a tradition called the “Long Walk.” The outgoing governor walks out of the statehouse alone while the incoming governor walks up the walkway to the front entrance at the same time. Massachusetts residents line the sidewalks in support of the governors, waving banners and cheering the whole time. What a way to celebrate the importance of a statehouse!
You can plan your own walking tour of Beacon Hill and see the architectural works of Charles Bullfinch at Bostonbyfoot.org.
Photo of the Massachusetts Statehouse courtesy of Fcb981 on Wikimedia Commons.
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