About Capitols


IMG_2112The largest state capitol in size is Texas’.  Texas planned to reopen its capitol building in Austin for its popular tours in June of 2020 but has delayed this action due to the increase in virus cases.  Most other state capitols and the Federal Capitol in Washington, DC are also closed to visitors.  This is not a good summer to visit any capitols.  It’s best to check to see if the one you want to see is opened or not before setting out.   Most states usually offer a human-guided tour but several, like Arkansas, have gone to strictly self-guided tours.


IMG_3774The city with the smallest state capitol is Montpelier, VT.  In the #2 spot is Richmond, VA.  The oldest state capitol that has not been redone is Alaska’s completed in 1931.  This capitol in Juneau is not popular with Alaskans.  In 2019 a team of them applied to hold an initiative to move the capital to Anchorage.  The 2002 initiative failed, but this 2nd one did better, so watch for news of this situation.  It may have been delayed as too expensive or impractical to do, especially during a pandemic.

The oldest capitol still in its original building is Maryland’s in Annapolis.  It’s so old that its original wooden dome that contained no nails had to be restored for $800,000.  A lot of the old wood had to be replaced.  The dome was built in 1788, so this was not unexpected.  An annex was added to this building for the legislature very early in the 20th century beginning in 1902, so the Governor’s office remains the oldest part still in use.  This building is the only state house that also served as our national capital from November 1783 until the August of the next year.  Its construction began in 1769 before the Revolutionary War.

In my opinion, the most beautiful state capitol is in Salt Lake City, UT seen in the top photo above.  Utah’s capital city has always been SLC.  It is only 1 of 3 states that have had its capitol in one location.  The other 2 are Colorado and Rhode Island.   All the other states were once part of a larger area with its capitol in, say, St. Louis; or it had a territorial capitol like Iowa that was relocated in another city in a new gold-domed building.  Some of the original capitol buildings have been preserved, like in Nevada.

Only 11 states don’t have domes on their capitol buildings.  Florida, which has preserved its original capitol, North Dakota, which has built a high-rise modern skyscraper, and Louisiana, which has the tallest state capitol seen in the photo below are 3 of the 11.  Many states, like Oklahoma, have been restoring their capitol buildings, and one has recently completed a full redo.  We saw it in Cheyenne, WY this past summer.



PS  Some Native American nations like the Chickasaw have capitol buildings.  Theirs is in Oklahoma.





About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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