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The Georgia State Capitol, in Atlantamarker, Georgiamarker, in the United Statesmarker, is an architecturally and historically significant building. It has been named a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, it is the working center of Georgia's government. The offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state are on the second floor, while the General Assembly meets on the third floor from January to April. There are also visitors' galleries and a museum on the fourth floor.

History

The capitol site was previously the first Atlanta City Hallmarker. In getting the state to change the capital city to rapidly-growing and industrialized Atlanta from rural Milledgevillemarker, the city donated it to the state. The first capitol in Louisvillemarker no longer stands, while Augustamarker and Savannahmarker before it never had particular capitol buildings, perhaps causing (or caused by) the alternation of those two cities as capital. The legislature also met at other places, including Maconmarker, especially during and just after the Atlanta Campaignmarker of the American Civil War.

Architecture

Close-up of the building's dome
many U.S. state capitols, the Georgia State Capitol is designed to resemble the Renaissance architecural style of the United States Capitolmarker, in Washington, D.C.marker. Completed in 1889, the building was designed by architects Willoughby J. Edbrooke and Franklin P. Burnham, of Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker. The building was constructed by Miles and Horne, of Toledomarker, Ohiomarker. Sculptor George Crouch executed all the ornamental work on the building. The commission that oversaw the planning and construction of the building included former Confederate general Phillip Cook.

The front of the capitol faces west on Washington Street. The façade features a four-story portico, with stone pediment, supported by six Corinthian columns set on large stone piers. Georgia's coat of arms, with two figures on each side, is engraved on the pediment. The Capitol's interior reflects the Victorian style of its day. It was among the earliest buildings to have elevators, central steam heat, and combination gas and electric lights. Classical pilasters and oak paneling are used throughout the building. The floors of the interior are made of marble from Pickens Countymarker, which still produces marble products today.

The open central rotunda is flanked by two wings, each with a grand staircase and three-story atrium crowned by clerestory windows. The Capitol building has undergone frequent renovations to adapt to the growth and change of government. Originally constructed from terra cotta and covered with tin, the present dome is gilded with native gold leaf from near Dahlonegamarker in Lumpkin Countymarker, where the first American gold rush occurred in the 1830s. For this reason, legislative business is often referred to as what is happening "under the gold dome" by media across the state. The statue Miss Freedom has adorned the dome since the building's opening.

In 1997, EverGreene Architectural Arts performed a restoration of the House and Senate chambers, returning their appearance to that of their original 1889 decorations and color schemes. This included the demolition of damaged plaster, the reinstallation of flat plaster at the dome, columns, and walls, and a decorative painting in the House and Senate Chambers.

Georgia Capitol Museum

The museum within the Capitol, in existence since 1889, houses extensive collections reflecting the natural and cultural history of Georgia. Native American artifacts, animals, rocks and minerals, and fossils illustrate the diversity of the collections. During restoration or renovation, most of the collection remains in storage. In addition to the museum, the entire building acts as a museum. The portraits of governors, statues of famous Georgians, and historic flags from many wars are displayed throughout the Capitol.

Today, the Georgia Capitol Museum is a public education institution in the Office of the Secretary of State. The museum seeks to preserve and interpret the history of the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, the functions of the government, and the events that haven taken place in the Capitol. To carry out this purpose, the museum collects, preserves, and interprets artifacts relating to the Capitol or associated with the events that have occurred there.

Dimensions

  • Greatest north–south: 347 feet, 9 inches (105.99 meters)
  • Greatest central depth: 272 feet, 4.5 inches (83.02 meters)
  • Second-Floor Rotunda to ceiling: 187 feet, 4 inches (57.10 meters)
  • Dome diameter: 75 feet (22.86 meters)


Georgia's old capitol museum

Georgia's second capitol building, 1937.
Georgia's second capitol building is at 201 East Greene Street, Milledgeville, Georgiamarker, and served as state capitol until 1867. The building was severely damaged by a fire March 24, 1941 and was rebuilt in its former design to serve as a part of Georgia Military College. The first floor of the old capitol is open as a museum.

References

External links

Current State Capitol



Old State Capitol


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