Skyscraper on the Prairie

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Queen City Motel, Dickinson, ND

Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Friday, June 11, 2010

I went to Bismarck and visited the North Dakota State Capitol Building.  Unlike most state capitols, this one is not modeled on the US Capitol.  The previous capitol burned down in 1930.  Since budgets were tight during the Great Depression they decided they wanted a capitol with a high percentage of usable space so instead of a fancy building with a central rotunda they went with an Art Deco skyscraper.  At 19 stories and 241 feet it was, and still is, the tallest building in North Dakota.

Originally, all three branches of the state government fit in the building.  By the late '70's, even though the population of the state had dropped, they needed more space.  They built a new wing that was finished in 1981 to house the State Supreme Court.

They also added the North Dakota Heritage Center, which was also finished in 1981, to house the Heritage Center Museum and offices for the North Dakota State Historical Society who operate the museum.  I visited the museum after touring the capitol.  I got interested in the displays and didn't notice that closing time was creeping up on me.  When they announced that the museum was closing in 10 minutes I could only quickly walk through the remaining displays.  While the museum seemed quite extensive, I understand they're in the process of expanding it to nearly double its current size.

I then drove to Dickinson, ND and tried to find a room.  Driving around North Dakota is strange.  There are hardly any trees here.  It's just grasslands and fields stretching to the horizon.  And it's not my imagination.  North Dakota has less than 1% covered in forests, the lowest percentage of any state although Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois and South Dakota are pretty similar.  The oil business is booming around here and early all of the hotel rooms are filled with oil field workers, so it wasn't easy. I'll be visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park tomorrow.
Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: