Wyoming State Capitol

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

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Flag of United States  , Nebraska
Monday, September 20, 2010

I went to the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne today.  This is the 25th state capitol I've visited.  Cheyenne is a small town of about 58,000.  I could get a free parking space a block from the capitol.  I could just walk into the building without going through metal detectors.  The people there were all polite and courteous.  In many ways it was a much nicer experience than visiting some of the capitols in larger cities.

The Wyoming State Capitol was started in 1886 before Wyoming became a state in 1890.  The original construction cost was about $131,000.  They quickly outgrew the space and added two wings in 1890, which cost slightly more than the original building.  It was expanded again in 1915 with the addition of the House and Senate Chambers.  Renovations started in 1974 cost $7.6 million.  Prices sure have changed.

The capitol contains the Governor's office and the Senate and House of Representatives.  It appears to have never contained the Wyoming State Supreme Court.  I was unsuccessful when I searched online to find out where they were prior to the construction of their current building in 1936.

Unlike most capitols, they didn't have any scheduled tours although someone did offer to give me a tour.  I declined the offer and took a self-guided tour using their brochure.  The building, like most capitols, is a symmetrical, neo-classical building with a central dome that was modeled on the U.S. Capitol.  While the interior doesn't have the any opulent stonework like some capitols there are a few extravagant touches.  There's a nice stained glass ceiling over the rotunda that was imported from England.  The Senate and House of Representatives Chambers also have stained glass ceilings.  The outside of the dome is gilded and is visible from all roads into town.  The capitol has a sandstone exterior in Corinthian style with a central portico reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol.

There's a statue in front of the capitol of Esther Morris, a Wyoming resident who played a key role in women's suffrage.  As a result of her efforts, the Wyoming territorial legislature became the first government in the world to grant women the right to vote in 1869.

There's a Wyoming State Museum nearby but since I had a long drive ahead of me I skipped it and just headed for Lincoln, NE when I was done touring the capitol.  Tomorrow I'll be going to the Nebraska State Capitol.
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