State Capitol Buildings
* * * Montgomery, Alabama * * *

Alabama's capitol was built in 1851 on the
foundation of the preceding building, which
burned down in 1849. My father and I
visited the Greek Revival statehouse in
June 2013 on our way to the grave of Vice
President William Rufus DeVane King in
Selma, fifty miles from Montgomery.

The Alabama State Capitol has been the
setting of several dramatic events over
the course of history. It was where the
seceded southern states organized into
the Confederate States of America on
February 4, 1861, and where former
Senator Jefferson Davis was sworn in as
the first president of the unrecognized
country. 25,000 civil rights activists
marched from Selma to the statehouse
in 1965 to demand equal voting rights
for African Americans.

* * * Hartford, Connecticut * * *

My father and I kicked off 2011 with a New
Year's Day trip to Connecticut, and our
first stop was the state house in Hartford.

The architectural style of the
capitol, which was constructed
between 1872 and 1879, is
 described as High Victorian
Gothic and Second Empire. The
building was designed by Richard
Upjohn, and James Batterson
oversaw its completion.

* * * Dover, Delaware * * *

Delaware's Capitol Building, also referred to
as Legislative Hall, sits in a park in the city
of Dover. Legislative Hall was dedicated in
1933. The Old State House from 1791
survives and is located a short walk away.

I viewed Delaware's capitol in May 2019.
It was the twenty-second statehouse that
I visited, but my first since summer 2015
when I was in Richmond, Virginia.
* * * Indianapolis, Indiana * * *

The facility that serves as Indiana's state
capitol was completed in 1888. The
building that previously housed Indiana's
legislative bodies in Corydon now operates
as a state historic site. My father and I
briefly stopped outside the current capitol
in Indianapolis in April 2010 on our way
down to Louisville, Kentucky.

Several vice presidents were Hoosiers,
including Grover Cleveland's first VP,
Thomas Hendricks. Hendricks is honored
with a statue outside the statehouse in
Indianapolis, although it is not within
the frame of this photograph.
* * * Des Moines, Iowa * * *

While we were in the Midwest in February
2012, my father and I visited the capitol
buildings in Wisconsin and Iowa. The Iowa
structure sports five domes, with the
center one covered in twenty-three-carat
gold leaf. It cost $79,938 to re-gild in 1965.

Here, I am pictured inside the capitol beside
a model of the USS Iowa, a battleship
that was christened in 1942 by Iowan
Ilo Wallace, second lady of the U.S. and
wife of Vice President Henry Wallace.
The Iowa was very active during the final
years of World War II, and it participated
in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in 1944.

* * * Topeka, Kansas * * *

On August 11, 2009, my father and I arrived
at the state capitol building in Topeka,
Kansas around sunset -- too late in the
day to take a tour. Nevertheless, I still
managed to take a few pictures of the
building's exterior. It was finished in 1903
after a lengthy construction period.

The day after, as we returned
from Dwight D. Eisenhower's
presidential library in Abilene,
we stopped back in Topeka and
were able to go inside the capitol.
This statue is of aviator Amelia
Earhart, a Kansas native.

* * * Frankfort, Kentucky * * *

I took this picture of Kentucky's capitol in
April 2010 from Frankfort Cemetery at the
grave of frontiersman Daniel Boone. The
cemetery and the capitol are separated by
the Kentucky River.

State house Construction lasted from 1904
to 1910. It cost $1,820,000. Much of the
funding came from the federal government,
which paid Kentucky upwards of $1 million
for damages incurred during the Civil War.
* * * Augusta, Maine * * *

I am particularly fond of this
photograph I captured from the
steps of the Maine State House,
overlooking Augusta's Capitol

I have seen the Maine State House twice,
in 2010 and 2016, but in neither instance
did time permit me to venture inside.
* * * Boston, Massachusetts * * *

The Massachusetts State House is in
Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood and
abuts the Boston Common. It was designed
by architect Charles Bullfinch, who also
drew up the plans for Maine's capitol
building in Augusta.

It is typical for state capitol
grounds to be strewn with
commemorative statuary. The
state house in Boston includes
President John F. Kennedy in
its outdoor collection, as well as
statesman Daniel Webster and
religious figure Anne Hutchinson.

* * * Lansing, Michigan * * *

According to an outdoor sign,
the dedication of the present
Michigan State Capitol coincided
with the 1879 inauguration of
Governor Charles M. Croswell.
Elijah E. Myers, the architect
responsible for the building,
also designed the current
statehouses in Texas and

Michigan's capitol was the first
of six statehouses my father and
I visited in April 2010. In the
days that ensued we also saw the
the capitols of Indiana, Kentucky,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New

* * * St. Paul, Minnesota * * *

Minnesota's first statehouse was
devastated by a fire in 1881,
which prompted the construction
of a new capitol. That building
was finished in 1883, but it soon
proved to be too small and
inadequate to suit the needs of
the legislature. A competition was
held in 1895 to solicit designs for
a third capitol. The winner was
thirty-five-year-old Cass Gilbert.
His plans were realized a decade
later, when the current capitol
opened on January 2, 1905.

The interior of the Minnesota
State Capitol, from my visit in
January 2014. My father and I
were in the state to pay our
respects to Vice President
Hubert Humphrey, the lone
deceased VP whose grave I
had not yet been to.
* * * Concord, New Hampshire * * *

While my father and I were in
Concord to visit the final resting
place of President Franklin
on February 19, 2005, I
asked if I could get my picture
taken with the New Hampshire
State House as well.

The New Hampshire State House
opened in 1819 and is the oldest
state capitol "in which the legislature
still occupies its original chambers."
Before Concord was chosen to be
the capital city, the communities
of Hopkinton and Salisbury were
also in the running.

* * * Trenton, New Jersey * * *

The New Jersey State House dates back to
1792, making it one of the oldest capitol
buildings still in use in the United States.
The statehouse has changed considerably
over the centuries, though, as it has
undergone multiple renovations and
additions. One wing was decimated by
a fire on March 21, 1885.

While my father and I were in
Trenton in April 2010, we also
visited the burial site of George
Clymer, a founding statesman
who signed both the Declaration
of Independence and the U.S.

* * * Albany, New York * * *

The New York State House as it looked at
the time of my visit in May 2010. Like
many of the more elaborate capitols, it
took considerable time to erect. The
castle-like structure incurred a cost of
$25 million between its groundbreaking
in 1867 and when it was finished in 1899.

Five architects oversaw the construction
of the New York State House, which has
Romanesque and Renaissance influences
in its exterior design. I have not yet had
the opportunity to explore the interior.
* * * Columbus, Ohio * * *

Ohio's state house is a Greek Revival style
structure that broke ground in 1839. Past
governors who worked in the building
included presidents Rutherford B. Hayes
and William McKinley. My father and I
visited the capitol grounds during an
extensive seven-day road trip in April 2010.

Although I expressed my desire to stay
overnight in Columbus so that we could
see the statehouse in the daylight, my
father insisted on continuing our drive
eastward. Thus I was forced to settle for
this disappointing nighttime photograph.

* * * Harrisburg, Pennsylvania * * *

A few hours after my nighttime
visit at the Ohio Statehouse, I
was pleased to have a well-lit
 daytime photo-op with the green-
domed Pennsylvania capitol.

President Theodore Roosevelt was present
at the capitol's dedication in October 1906,
and he hailed the structure as "the
handsomest building I ever saw." As I
gazed up at the interior of the capitol dome,
I could understand why he was of that

* * * Providence, Rhode Island * * *

The first state house I visited was
the capitol in my home state of
Rhode Island. The building, which
was completed in 1904, is topped
with a gilded bronze statue known
as the Independent Man.

My father's cousin Matthew was a state
house docent in 2002, and he gave my
family a private tour of the building.
* * * Nashville, Tennessee * * *

On July 22, 2006, I visited the
Tennessee State Capitol, my
third statehouse. Its cornerstone
was laid on July 4, 1845, and
it was completed in 1859.
Architect William Strickland
died during the construction
period and was interred within
the yet-unfinished building in
1854. Strickland also designed
the Second Bank of the United
States in Philadelphia and the
Providence Athenaeum.

Tennessee was the home of three
U.S. presidents, and each are
commemorated at the statehouse
in Nashville. In addition to an
equestrian memorial of Andrew
, there is a statue of
Andrew Johnson and the tomb
of James K. Polk and First Lady
Sarah Childress Polk.

* * * Austin, Texas * * *

As part of an advance high school
graduation present, my parents
funded a trip to Texas so I could
visit my thirty-eighth and last
remaining presidential burial site -
that of Lyndon B. Johnson. While
we were in the "Lone Star State"
in April 2012, I also nabbed my
eighteenth state capitol.

The building's designer, Elijah E. Myers,
based his creation on the U.S. Capitol in
Washington, D.C. Imprisoned convicts
contributed to its construction by quarrying
the granite. The capitol opened in April
1888 and was dedicated the following
month. These statues outside the rotunda
are of politician Sam Houston and
Stephen Austin, "the Father of Texas."
* * * Montpelier, Vermont * * *

My favorite state capitol building, bar none,
is Vermont's, located in the charming city
of Montpelier. I toured the building with my
father in July 2010, on our way to see the
grave of Vice President William Wheeler
near the Canadian border in New York.

The front portico of the capitol
shelters a stone statue of one of
Vermont's founders, Ethan Allen.
Allen was also one of the most
prominent figures of the American
Revolution. He and his militia,
the Green Mountain Boys, took
Fort Ticonderoga from British
Forces in May 1775. Its capture
was one of the most crucial
American victories of the war's
early stages.

* * * Richmond, Virginia * * *

In summer 2015 I interned with
the U.S. Capitol Historical Society
in Washington, D.C. I took many
excursions to attractions in nearby
areas, including to the Virginia
State Capitol in Richmond in June.

Virginia is known as the "Mother
of Presidents" because eight chief
executives were born there. This
includes George Washington,
who is memorialized in the center
of the rotunda with a marble statue,
and Thomas Jefferson, who was
one of the building's architects.

* * * Madison, Wisconsin * * *

One of Wisconsin's favorite sons is Colonel
Hans Christian Heg, a Union Army officer
killed at the Battle of Chickamauga in
September 1863. Heg was a Norwegian
immigrant who commanded a regiment
of predominantly Scandinavian ancestry.
Norwegian-Americans commenced a fund
for a statue of the late colonel in 1920,
and a few years later the fruit of their
labor was placed outside the Wisconsin
State Capitol in Madison.

The current Wisconsin Capitol is
the fifth statehouse Wisconsin
has had throughout its history as
a territory and a state. This
building dates back to 1906,
though construction took eleven
years. My father and I visited in
February 2012. While we were in
Madison, we also saw the graves
of politician Robert La Follette
and comedian Chris Farley.

Sources Consulted                                                                                                                                                     

"Battleship Iowa (BB-61)." World War II Database. Accessed July 21, 2019. ship_id=2.

"Building History." Minnesota Historical Society. Accessed July 21, 2019.

"Capitol Building." Accessed July 21, 2019.

"Concord's (and New Hampshire's) State House is having a 200th Birthday!" Visit Concord NH, March 20, 2019. 200th-birthday.

Gajewski, Mark. "Hans Christian Heg Statue." Accessed July 21, 2019.'s%20Past/connectingwithourpast/hegstatue.html.

Green, William Elton. "Capitol." Texas State Historical Association. Last updated February 13, 2019.

"History of the Alabama State Capitol." Alabama Historical Commission. Accessed July 20, 2019.

"A History of the State House, New Hampshire Almanac." Accessed July 21, 2019.

"Ilo Browne Wallace." Wallace Centers of Iowa. Accessed July 21, 2019. wallaces/ilo-browne-wallace/.

"Kentucky Capitol Welcome!!!" Accessed July 21, 2019.

"New York State Capitol." Northeast Architecture. Accessed July 21, 2019.

Remetta, Lauren, and Ashly Vallera. "Connecticut's Capitol Building - Inside and Out.", May 24, 2016.

"State House History." New Jersey Legislature. Accessed July 21, 2019.

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