Cupolas of Capitalism
State Capitol Building Histories

States from T to V

South front elevation. Delineated by Tanya Wattenburg, Dale Hall, & Murray Miller in 1988 for the Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress).

Historic architectural drawing of the Texas State Capitol
Building.  Courtesy of the Library of Congress (H.A.B.S.)

States with Capitol Buildings featuring prominent exterior cupolas are highlighted in yellow.  Historical information appearing on this page comes from the same sources acknowledged on the first page of this gallery.

Click on any picture to see an enlarged version, or to view the other historic images available in the Cupolas of Capitalism Picture Gallery.  Note as previously mentioned, the 3D links from Google and MS Bing may require a browser plug-in and repeated loading to display correctly.

Tennessee Nashville 600 Charlotte Ave. (between N. 6th & 7th Avenues) / bird's eye view from MS Bing; street and maybe forthcoming 3D view from Google Maps; and 3D model from 3D Warehouse.

1845-54, Capitol designed and construction begun / William Strickland (who dies in 1854, and is buried in a basement vault).  General Assembly moves into the unfinished building in 1853.

1854-57, construction continues / Francis Strickland (son of William).

1857-58, construction continues without architect.

1858-59, library designed and built, finalizing interior work and completion of capitol building / H. M. Akeroyd.

1860-61, landscaping and other site improvements / William Pritchard.

1953-59, exterior renovation & interior restoration / Charles W. Warterfield, Jr. et. al.

1984-88, exterior renovations and partial interior restoration / Warterfield & Goodwin with Hickerson & Fowlkes.

2003-04, restoration of Senate & House chambers / Fowlkes & Associates Architects, later renamed Centric Architecture.
Historic photo showing the South Carolina State House. From the Library of Congress's Historic American Buildings Survey.
Greek Revival capitol building
, featuring a central square tower with a cupola on top.  The circular cupola is a modified replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens.  According to HABS architectural drawings, 198 feet tall from ground floor level to top of the tower's ornamental cap.  Pictures and more info are available offsite, with a short article and a more detailed self-guided tour book in Adobe Acrobat format from the Tennessee State Museum; and a building history and description from the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society.  Also available offsite is an extensive building photo gallery from Edward Crim; another photo gallery from Mary Ann Sullivan's Digital Imaging Project; a building description from Beverly Hernandez; and a period drawing and building history from Kirchner Prints.
Texas Austin 1100 N. Congress Ave. (between 11th & 15th Streets) / bird's eye view showing the South Front from MS Bing; street and 3D view from Google Maps; and 3D model from 3D Warehouse.

1881-88, Capitol designed and built / Elijah E. Myers(dismissed shortly before project completion).

1983, fire badly damages East Wing and provides impetus for later restoration work.

1985-86, statue removed from top of cupola and replaced with replica in aluminum.  Original zinc statue restored and placed in special structure on capitol grounds in 1995.

1987, Governor's public reception room restored / ? architect.

1988-95, major exterior and interior capitol restoration and modernization.  Restoration done in tandem with construction of the 667,000 s.f. Capitol Extension, an underground annex that opened in 1993 on the capitol's north side / 3D International, Inc. with Ford, Powell, and Carson, Inc.

1995-97, 22 acre capitol grounds restoration / TBG Partners, Inc., Landscape Architecture and Planning.
Partial view of the Texas State Capitol Building's north elevation. Photo courtesy of Pat and Debbi Furrie, taken in June of 2003.
Italian Renaissance Revival statehouse
.  Features a central circular drum tower capped with dome and cupola.  The cupola is crowned with the Goddess of Liberty statue.  Official accounts list it taller, but according to HABS architectural drawings, approx. 297 feet tall from ground (e.g., about 5 feet below first floor) to top of the star on the crowning statue.  More on the capitol offsite with building info, history, photo galleries, and virtual tours from the Texas State Preservation Board.  They provide info on the restoration and expansion work as well.  The Texas Senate's Online Visitor Center offers capitol building photos and a QuickTime virtual tour.  The Handbook of Texas Online features a mostly text-based building history and description.  The History Center at the Austin Public Library offers an online exhibition covering the capitol's construction and early history.  An unofficial capitol picture album is available from pro-photographer Edward Crim.
Utah Salt Lake City (Old & New State Capitols) Old State Capitol at 451 S. State St. (between E. 400 S. & E. 500 S.) / bird's eye view rotated to show front from MS Bing; street and 3D view from Google Maps; and 3D model from 3D Warehouse.

1891-94, Old State Capitol designed and built (originally constructed as the Salt Lake City and County Building, and used as the Utah State Capitol from 1896-1915) / Henry Monheim, George W. Bird, and Willis T. Proudfoot formed the short-lived architectural partnership of Monheim, Bird, and Proudfoot for the project.  Sources credit Bird as the lead designer.

1973-89, Miscellaneous minor restoration work on the Old State Capitol to the mid 80's. Major seismic upgrade and complete restoration from 1985-89.  Building named the Salt Lake City and County Building once more / The Ehrenkrantz Group and Burtch W. Beall, Jr., AIA, Architect.
New State Capitol at 350 N. State St. (at E. 300 N.) / bird's eye view from MS Bing; street and 3D view from Google Maps; and 3D model from 3D Warehouse.

1911-16, New State Capitol designed and built / Richard K. A. Kletting.

1998-2001, preparation of a capitol restoration master plan for the New State Capitol / Cooper Roberts, Simonsen Architects (CRSA) of Salt Lake City, working with the Capitol Preservation Board.

2001-2004, East and West Administration Buildings constructed behind the New State Capitol / joint venture of FFKR Architects; Gillies, Stransky, Brems & Smith (GSBS); and CRSA (all Salt Lake City architects).

2002 to Jan. 2008, renovation and seismic upgrades to New State Capitol / joint venture VCBO Architecture and Max J. Smith Architects (MSJA) of Salt Lake City, with Schooley Caldwell Associates of Columbus, OH.
Historic photo showing the old Utah State Capitol Building. From the Library of Congress's Historic American Buildings Survey.
Richardsonian Romanesque Old Capitol Building
.  Tall central clock tower with a steeply pitched pyramidal roof and finial/cupola.  239 feet tall from ground to top of tower, or in another account, 256 from ground to the top of the tower's crowning statue named Columbia.  More info offsite with building histories here from the Utah Geological Society and here, from the Utah History to Go website.  An illustrated history previously featured on the city website survives thanks to the Internet Archive.  The SkyscraperPage forum includes numerous photos of the building taken after its restoration.

Front elevation of the Utah State Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of Les R. Center, taken in May of 2001.
Italian Renaissance Revival New Capitol Building
.  Central circular drum tower capped with copper covered dome and cupola.  301 feet tall from ground floor, or 285 feet from main floor, to top of cupola, according to the Cooper/Roberts Historic Structure's Report.  More info offsite with a Flash driven virtual tour, description, and history from the Utah State Capitol website; a building overview from the Utah travel website; and this illustrated building history from the Utah Geological Society.  Historic construction photos are available via the J. Willard Marriott Digitized Collections at the University of Utah.  More photos and building history are available here and here.  Edward Crim offers a particularly fine gallery of capitol photos.  Also available offsite is Jeff Schmerker's photo essay and Virtual Guidebooks' QuickTime panorama (favors viewing via Firefox browser).
Vermont Montpelier 115 State St. (between Gov. Davis Ave., a.k.a. Taylor St., & Gov. Aiken Ave.) / aerial view and bird's eye view (in one direction, other directions may be forthcoming); street and maybe forthcoming 3D view from Google Maps; and 3D model from 3D Warehouse.

1834-36, Capitol designed and built / Ammi Burnham Young.  Burned in 1857, but portico survived and was incorporated into next Capitol.  Based on the Greek Temple of Theseus.

1857-59, Capitol reconstructed on grander scale / Thomas W. Silloway, followed by Joseph R. Richards.

1886-88, annex built to house Supreme Court, expanded State Library, and Vermont Historical Society / Joseph R. Richards.

1900, Speaker’s annex constructed in rear / ? architect.

1907, dome first gilded.

1918, Supreme Court and State Library move out, and their former spaces reconfigured for legislative and executive purposes / ? architect.

1938, Larkin Mead's original wooden statue of Ceres removed from cupola due to deterioration and replaced with a wooden replica by Sergeant-at-Arms Dwight Dwinell.

1949, most executive branch offices depart.

1971, renovations.  Mostly reversed in later restorations.  Governor's working office relocates to new Pavilion Office Building / ? architect(s).

1980s, Capitol Complex master plan updated.  Restoration efforts begin / Burley Partnership with Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects.

1987, another rear addition built to house cafeteria and offices / Burley Partnership.

1990s, restoration work continues / Burley Partnership.

2002, proposal for 3 story addition on east side; expansion of the 1987 addition on north side; and remodeling of the 1886 annex on west side / Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc.
Front elevation of the Vermont State Capitol building. Photo courtesy of Pat and Debbi Furrie, taken in June of 2003.
Greek Revival front portico from earlier capitol incorporated into newer Renaissance Revival building
.  Central circular drum tower capped with a gold leafed dome and cupola-like pedestal supporting a statue of Ceres, the mythological Roman Goddess of Agriculture.  136 feet tall.  More info available offsite with this official virtual tour.  The Friends of the Vermont Statehouse include a group of before and after restoration photos on their website.  An extensive photo gallery from Edward Crim, a short photo essay, and photos from MCWB Architects are also available.
Virginia Richmond 1000 Bank St. (between N. 9th & N. 12th Streets) / bird's eye view from MS Bing; street and 3D view from Google Maps; and 3D model from 3D Warehouse.

1785-98, Capitol designed and built.  First occupied in 1788 / Charles-Louis Clérisseau, the French architect, provided the design and plans at the request of Thomas Jefferson.  Although Jefferson encouraged strict adherence to this design from his post in France, the capitol's builder, Samuel Dobie, made many significant modifications as construction proceeded.  This was Virginia's first permanent capitol in Richmond.

1794, domed ceiling added to rotunda, shortly after roof design changed from a flat to a gabled roof.  Dome hidden under the gable and sees no outside expression / unknown whether adding the dome was one of Thomas Jefferson's later ideas, or another design change by Samuel Dobie.

1798, walls covered with stucco.  Capitol finally complete.

1816-19, Wood shingled roof replaced with slate and exterior entry stairs revamped.  Capitol Square landscaped in the formal and geometric French garden style of the 18th century / Maximilian Godefroy.

1850-60, Capitol Square landscaping redesigned in English Picturesque style / John Notman.

1870, Supreme Court balcony collapses under the weight of spectators, causing the floor of the court beneath to pancake into the House of Delegates (a.k.a. the Old House Chamber) below, killing 62 and injuring 251.  Repairs made in 1872 / ? architect.

1902-06, interior gutted and renovated, flanking wings added to sides and monumental exterior stairs added to front / a collaboration of architects John K. Peebles, the lead designer, with the firms of Noland & Baskervill and Frye & Chesterman.

1929, Old House Chamber restored / ? architect.

1962-64, interior renovated and remodeled.  Links to wings enlarged to accommodate new interior stairs and new conference rooms and office space; interior stairs; basement reconfigured for more office space; attic story, previously open, divided into offices and committee rooms; and mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems modernized / Ballou & Justice.

2003-07, major restoration, focusing on the capitol's historic 1906 appearance.  New addition and public entrance built in hill beneath the portico on the south side, including a new reception area, cafe, exhibition area, offices, and miscellaneous service spaces / Hillier Architecture (now tied to RMJM).
Early 20th century view of the Virginia State Capitol. Historic postcard image courtesy of Chris Miller.
Low gable roofed Neoclassical capitol
(Roman Imperial Revival in this case).  Central portion based on the Maison Cairee, an ancient and very influential Roman temple in Nimes, France.  No exterior dome or cupola.  According to HABS architectural drawings, 83 feet 4 inches tall from ground to top of roof.  More building info, history, and pictures available offsite from the Virginia General Assembly website.  The Virginia Capitol website offers a visitor's guide, historical timeline, photos, and virtual tours of the building and grounds, as well as info on the latest restoration and addition.  An article on Jefferson and the development the capitol design is on exhibit on the Library of Virginia website.  The Virginia State Capitol History Project, an unofficial site of special note, offers a wealth of information on the capitol with period visitor brochures, a historic timeline, and photos.  It also offers a detailed period account of the 1870 capitol disaster.  An excellent building photo album is also available from photographer Edward Crim.

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