adventure

No Parents Allowed…Kansas State Capitol

We had spent 3 fun-filled days at Great Wolf Lodge and wanted to end on an educational note. The state capitol of Kansas is in Topeka, just an hour west of Kansas City.  Kansas became a state in 1861.  That same year, Cyrus K. Holliday, the founder of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, donated the 20 acres that the state capitol would be built upon.  Construction was started in 1866 and completed in 1903 at a cost of 3 million dollars.

The capitol dome is 304 feet tall, 16 feet taller than the United States Capitol dome. However is half the diameter of the national capitol.

 

There are pictures from the construction as well as a display of tools used.

 

The limestone walls on the ground floor were pretty impressive

 

There are many intricate features…from flooring to banisters, and the dome.

 

The capitol was designed with numerous skylights.

 

There is also a display of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the 34th President of the United States. He grew up in Abilene, Kansas.

 

In 2001, a restoration project was started at a cost of $120 million and a time frame of 5 years.  When it was completed 13 years late in 2014, the cost was $332 million.

 

However, the building is beautiful and most of the historic features have been saved and restored.  One of those is the cage elevator that was installed in 1932.

 

Just below the dome are murals that were completed in 1902 by the firm of Crossman and Study. These were commissioned to replace the original murals that depicted half-naked women.  As that was considered too racy for the time period.

 

 

 

One of the cool things about the Kansas State Capitol, it that they have tours to the top of the dome and they are free.

 

The tour gives you an up close view of the inner dome.  The original iron chandelier was removed in 1942 and donated for the scrap metal drive for the World War II. During the recent restoration, it was duplicated from pictures.  It weighs 900 pounds.

 

We also got a very good view of the rotunda.

 

Before the restoration project, anyone could climb to the top of the dome with no supervision.  Consequently, there is lots of graffiti on the bricks and the columns. It was decided that this was part of the history of the building.

 

The columns were re-painted only on the side that faces the rotunda.

 

It is 296 steps to the top of the dome.  It is not for the faint of heart!!

 

The inner dome is composed of 256 glass panels.

 

The top of the inner dome has a very intricate leaf design

 

Our grandson Wyatt was not thrilled about the height and steepness of the stairs.  We talked to him about doing hard things and being brave.  His little legs were shaking and he had to keep stopping , but he made it to the top.

 

The views from the top were amazing.  There is a small walkway that goes around the entire top.

 

We took numerous pictures while we were there

 

We could see the arm of the sculpture on top of the dome.  It was installed in 1988 and depicts a Native American with a bow and arrow pointed at the North Star. From the ground we had a full view of the statue.

 

Our guide Darren, told us that the building was designed for the public to enjoy it, so that is why they continue to provide the dome tours. The tour was informative, full of adventure with our climb to the top, and fun. We very much enjoyed our time at the Kansas Statehouse.

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