West Virginia Capitol & History Museum
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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My first stop today was the West Virginia Capitol. Like many state capitols, it's a neo-classical, symmetrical, stone building with a central dome. Also, like many of the state capitols, it is not the original building. The first capitol burned down. The current capitol was approved in 1921 and completed in 1932 making it one of the last to be built in this style.
The building is in the capitol plaza, which also includes the West Virginia Executive Mansion and the West Virginia Science and Culture Center, which contains the West Virginia State Museum. The front of the building faces the Kanawha River.
The architect, Cass Gilbert, also designed the Woolworth Building in New York City, which is considered by many to be the first skyscraper, the state capitols of Minnesota and Arkansas and the U.S. Treasury Building and the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. The West Virginia Capitol originally contained the State Supreme Court. Gilbert liked his design for the Supreme Court's chamber and used it as a model for the design of the U.S. Supreme Court chamber.
I took pictures for a while and then took one of the tours. After the tour I finished taking pictures. The rotunda is quite nice. The Senate chamber also has a domed ceiling and is quite nice. Unlike most state capitols, they seem to have taken care of theirs and it has not had to be extensively restored.
After I left the capitol I went to the West Virginia State Museum. The current museum was opened in 1976, I've been to quite a few state history museums and this one is one of the best I've seen. It does a very good job of showing the state's history and how it fits in with the history of the U.S.
After leaving the State Museum I drove home. This is only a temporary visit home. I'll be leaving again in about a week and a half.