Connecticut State Capitol – The Constitution State

Connecticut State CapitolWhile in New York we were able to see the New York State Capitol in Albany.  Then later that afternoon, we were also able to see the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford. I thought it was fun that we were able to see two capitol buildings in the same day 🙂 Then again, they are only about 100 miles apart.

The current building is the third capitol building for the State of Connecticut since the American Revolution, and is one of the largest Eastlake style buildings. The exterior is made of marble from East Canaan, Connecticut and granite from Westerly, Rhode Island.  Roughly rectangular, the interior spaces of the building are organized around two open interior courts that run vertically to large skylights. In the center is a third circular open rotunda beneath the dome. The larger hall of the House of Representatives forms an extension on the south side.

They do offer guided tours, but we got there after their last tour of the day, so we just picked up a self-tour guide book, and made our way around the building. One of the most amazing things I noticed, besides the building itself, were their floors. Inlaid with white marble and red slate from Connecticut and colored marble from Italy, they are very beautiful.  The stained-glass windows and light fixtures, which were designed by Boston interior decorator William James McPherson, were also stenciled.

I also enjoyed their distinctive dome. The dome itself is 32 feet tall; on top of that is a cupola 55 feet in height, and the drum below is 75 feet, making the drum taller than the 70 feet height of the main walls. The overall height of the tower is 257 feet. The building’s dome originally had a large statue on top of it, named The Genius of Connecticut, which was taken down in 1938 after being damaged in the great hurricane of that year. The statue was cast in bronze from a plaster original, and was 17 feet tall, and weighed 7,000 lbs. Today, at the exterior base of the dome are 12 statues in six pairs representing Agriculture, Commerce, Education/Law, Force/War, Science/Justice, and Music.

Like most other capitols, the Connecticut State Capitol has two chambers. The House of Representatives, and the senate. I always enjoyed checking them out. They were not in session while we were there, but it was nice to see where their State Representatives and Senators sit and make laws. It’s nice to catch them when they are in session, and hopefully we can if we are back in Connecticut with some free time.

The Connecticut State Capitol is really beautiful and I enjoyed seeing their amazing stairs, the Hall of Flags, their State Seal, their Liberty Bell, and many statues in the capitol and on the grounds. I am very glad we were able to visit and explore this intriguing state capitol. Hope you are able to take a tour one day. Here is a link to their website with hours, directions, and more info you might need for your visit. 

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