Arkansas State Capitol
22 Jul 2009
|The Arkansas Capitol building
looks very similar to the U.S. Capitol. It is quite beautiful.
We first watched a film about the building of the Capitol. It has a very controversial history. It took 16 years to finish. Construction was begun in 1899 with a budget of one million dollars. It ran over that cost before the first floor was completed. The next governor fought funding it. Until the Old State House ceiling fell in on the Senators, battles went back and forth about it. The Senators would fight for a seat where the ceiling had already fallen to protect themselves from it falling on them in other places! It took 2½ times the original allocation to finish it.
Finally, after several contractors went bankrupt, several governors, and all those years, it was finished. It is not full of ornate decoration like many other state capitol
buildings but beautiful with white marble walls and stairways
photo=Looking Up at the Dome
photo=Beautiful Stain Glass in Capitol Dome
The front doors of the Capitol are six bronze doors,
which cost $10,000 and were purchased from Tiffany’s in New York in 1910. They would cost over 250,000 today.
After going through security when you enter the building, we had free reign to go wherever we wanted. We went right in the Governor’s Reception Room, which is left wide open for anyone to enter. It is on the 2nd flo. The Governor’s Office was next door, and looked ready for anyone to enter.
The treasurer’s office on the west side of the second floor contains a large vault, which was open and held a little money. We asked for a gift but were refused.
The Old Supreme Court chamber is on the east end of the 2nd floor. The court had to move to a new larger facility and the room is currently used for committee hearings and so forth. It is a lovely room and looks like it did in 1912. The ceiling frieze is in green and terra cotta colors depicting various justice themes.
The 3rd floor houses the Senate and Congress Chambers. The Representatives’ part was closed for renovation. But we looked into the Senate Chamber and it had a lovely stained glass ceiling skylight.
Around the rotunda on each floor were portraits of the various Governors. We took a photo of the William J. Clinton portrait.
There was also a bronze bust of governor Faubus
who was famous for the 1957 Little Rock Nine situation.
From the Governor’s office you could look out of the window onto the Capitol grounds. There were nine bronze figures of children going to school. I did not get a picture but I do carry one in my mind. That is why we decided to go to the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
Thanks for reading and continue to the next journal to read about the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.