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Michigan State Capitol
By: Masha Persanova


One of the ’s most beautiful and important historic buildings has its doors open to the public. Every half an hour guided tours are provided so visitors can truly experience an open government. Its Michigan’s most widely recognized building. The Capitol is rich with breathtaking, award-winning art and architecture. Look carefully – you may be fooled! Inexpensive pine, plaster and cast iron were painted in 1880s to look like costly marble and walnut. Every wall and ceiling in the Capitol was hand painted, using brilliant colors, elaborate patterns, and every skill of the painter’s art.

 

Today, carefully restored, the Michigan state Capitol stands as a national treasure and one of ’s finest examples of Victorian decorative painting. On January 2, 1879, a magnificent new Capitol building was dedicated to the people of Michigan. Governor Croswell noted, speaking at the ceremony that the structure stood as “evidence of the lasting taste, spirit and enterprise” of the citizens of the state.


Today, carefully restored, the Michigan state Capitol stands as a national treasure and one of the finest examples of Victorian decorative painting. On January 2, 1879, a magnificent new Capitol building was dedicated to the people of Michigan. Governor Croswell noted, speaking at the ceremony that the structure stood as “evidence of the lasting taste, spirit and enterprise” of the citizens of the state.

 

Materials for the building came from all over the country and from abroad. Although brick was locally made in Lansing, the stone façade came from Ohio, the cast iron for the dome and floor beams from Pennsylvania and the marble and limestone from Vermont. The final cost totaled $1,427,738.78 considered modest for the construction of the state capitol during this period.


Michigan’s new statehouse became, in turn, the model for other state capitols. The style, incorporating motifs from classical Greek and Roman architecture, is often termed Renaissance Revival or Neoclassical. One of the most spectacular sights on the Capitol is the view of the inner dome from the first floor. Above you, the rotunda rises 160 feet to an opening at the top of the inner dome. Called the oculus, or eye of the dome, it provides a glimpse into the vastness of the universe, represented by the starry sky.

 

On the second floor you will see Gallery of Governors, where portraits of former Michigan governors line the rotunda. By tradition, each governor selects the artist, pays for the portrait, and donates it to the state after leaving office. Click Here for many travel photos!

 

For more information visit: http://council.legislature.mi.gov/lcfa/x7.htm

 

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Michigan State Capitol
By: Masha Persanova
   
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