During my recent road trips, I had the pleasure of seeing 5 different United States State Capitols. I am a fan of historic buildings so this was right up my alley. The states I visited were Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. Here are some details and photos about each one.
The state capitol of Tennessee was first opened in 1859. It is located in one of my favorite US cities, Nashville. The capitol is a perfect example of Greek Revival architecture. It sits stately on the highest hilltop summit in the Nashville, overlooking gorgeous Music City USA. Tennessee is one of the only United States state capitols that do not feature a dome. The grounds of the state capitol, often thought of as haunted, contain the tomb of President and Mrs. James K. Polk and a revered equestrian statue of local native, President Andrew Jackson.
West Virginia’s state capitol, located in Charleston, sits along the banks of the Kanawha River, surrounded by majestic mountains is the background. Originally located in Wheeling, the capitol was moved for the final time to Charleston in 1877. The cos was $10 million to build the limestone and marble wonder.
A haunting statue of Abraham Lincoln, who was in office when the state took incorporation, sits directly on the front plaza of the gorgeous capitol. Stonewall Jackson, a local resident, is featured near the southeast corner. The West Virginia capitol’s gold dome is based on the building in Paris that houses Napoleon’s tomb. It makes the West Virginia capitol most memorable.
Florida’s most interesting state capitol is located in downtown Tallahassee and is comprised of the original Florida capitol from 1845 and the new additions. The 22 story tower building, which also has 3 underground floors, houses the Florida legislature and the capitol dome was added later in 1902. New wings were added twice after that, nearly doubling its size. The most noteworthy part of the Florida capitol for me is the elegant and ritzy red and white striped awnings. It could easily be mistaken for a luxury hotel. Statues on the capitol grounds include two marble obelisks, the Florida Heritage Fountain, and a replica of the Liberty Bell.
Downtown Jackson is the home to Mississippi’s prideful state capitol which was built in 1903. The simple capitol dome is topped with a soaring eagle made of copper and gilded with gold leaf and the building designed in Beaux-Arts architectural style. The capitol grounds complex houses a copy of the Liberty Bells statue, a Women of the Confederacy monument, and a figurehead from the second USS Mississippi battleship. Though it was under renovation during my visit this summer, I still enjoyed strolling the grounds of this capitol that closely resembles our nations Capitol building in Washington, DC.
Georgia’s impressive 4 story capitol building is located in the gateway to the city of Atlanta, and is a collection of neoclassical, classical revival, and renaissance architecture, with an interesting design. The historic capitol is made of entirely all local resources and has a gold leaf dome. The grounds contain a replica of the Statue of Liberty, a Flame of Freedom Memorial, and metal markers. Atop the capitol is a statue of a woman with a flame in one hand and a sword in the other and she is often referred to as “Miss Freedom”. The capitol lies in the heart of Atlanta’s thriving metropolitan downtown and can be seen in the skyline amidst dozens of skyscrapers.
What is your favorite United States capitol building?