Whilst passing through Kansas on the Oregon Trail we had a little time in Topeka. There is one building that really strikes you as you travel through the city, the Kansas State Capitol Building. Of course we took the opportunity to take a tour throughout the inside and learn more.
Immediately on entering you are met with a huge marble floor covered with a huge outline map of the counties within the State. And, even before you get too far there is one feature within that is quite incredible to see… look up.. mesmerising and on a huge scale.. The dome!
A truly impressive sight. In fact it is a taller dome than the one on the United States Capitol building in Washington. You can see all the way up to the top from the ground floor. Each floor has a circle in the centre to allow this. The purpose? To allow the chandeliers to be wound down to the bottom and thus can be cleaned or lights replaced without a dangerous climb up.
Of course there are the two rooms where the business side of things get done. The Chamber of the House of Representatives…
and the Senate Chamber.
Art in all forms has prominence throughout the building. Great frescos by John Curry adorn the walls, including this one of the infamous abolitionist John Brown. The only painting in a State Capitol of a person found guilty of treason.
Also sculptures of famous Kansas sons and daughters, for example Amelia Earhart. The flying pioneer whom broke records such as the first solo flight across the Atlantic before disappearing without trace trying to fly solo around the world in 1937.
A great thing to see is an extremely rare (still operational) hand operated passenger elevator that was installed in 1923.
You can wander and wander, up and down this remarkable building and find gems of awe and gems of interest througout and around every corner.
It is great to see a grand and important building like this so open to the public, and with guided tours too if wanted. It was stark contrast in architecture to Topeka Old Prairie Town.