Kansas State Capitol Building, Topeka, Kansas




Take a step back in history by visiting the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, Kansas. The building is located downtown on twenty acres. C.K. Holliday donated the land in 1862 for Capitol Square. It was decided the building should have a French renaissance architecture with Corinthian details. Due to construction issues the state capitol building took three years to build. In the winter of 1867 the cornerstone foundation crumbled, so limestone had to be brought in. In 1869 the state offices were finally transferred to the Kansas State Capitol Building.

Over the next thirty- seven years more construction continued on the building to make it what it is now. By the end of the construction the cost was over $3,000,000.00. Details of the building are as follows: from north to south the building is 399 feet, and 386 feet from east to west. To the top of the cupola the height is 304 feet. The dome is 66 feet in diameter at the bottom of the copper dome and 54 feet at the top. The cupola height is approximately 23 feet.

Visitors will be able to see a number of interesting pieces of art during the tour of the capitol building. John Stuart Curry painted murals on the walls, around the dome, and in other places in the building. These murals are still there for the public. What visitors will see includes the dome, which has windows at the very top of the copper structure. The structure was approved in 1881, and construction was complete by 1885. To reach the dome there are 296 steps. There is no elevator. It is possible to tour the dome, with a view of Topeka out the windows. A very large curved staircase will bring visitors around to the top of the dome.

Mentioned previously were the Curry Murals. The murals are in the east and west wings of the second floor. One of the murals depicts the anti slavery movement in the Kansas Territory before the Civil War. The painting shows John Brown who was killed for his beliefs. In fact Brown was hung for treason in 1859 for leading a raid on a federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Another of the famed murals is the Conquistadors, with Coronado and Spanish explorers of 1541 depicted. Father Padilla, one of the first Christian martyrs of the United States is also shown.

Outside the capitol building is Ad Astra, a Kansas Warrior bronze sculpture. It was placed on the top of the dome in 2002, adding 22 feet to the overall building. The statue weighs 4,420 pounds. The sculpture faces the North Star with a bow and arrow in the warrior's hands.

To visit the Kansas State Capitol one can go Monday thru Friday from 9am to 4pm. There are tours of the building every hour, with the last starting at 3pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Under five years of age are allowed in for free.


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Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 24, 2011 @ 11:11 am
Information is incorrect concerning tours of Kansas State Capitol building. There is not a charge for those tours. There are charges for the Kansas State Historical Museum which is located west of the city.

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