Saturday, November 15, 2008

State Capitol #30

About a year ago, I visited my 30th state capitol (Carson City, Nevada). Unless something truly unexpected occurs, 2008 will pass by as the first year since 2004, when my capitol quest began, in which I did not visit a state capitol I hadn't visited before, though, to be fair, I did visit the national legislature in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Below is a map of my quest thus far. The states in which I completed the capitol visit ritual (i.e., doing a little dance on the capitol steps, getting a GPS lock, taking appropriate photos) are colored blue. The green states are those in which I have visited the capital city but not actually taken care of business, as it were. Photos of the 30 state capitols (plus one Canadian provincial legislature building) are up on the web album.

Here are some highlights:

My personal favorite overall: Madison, Wisconsin (capitol visit #20). The capitol is the center of downtown, on the isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona.

Assorted capitol tales:
  • In Topeka, Kansas (capitol visit #22), the capitol tour takes you all the way to the top of the dome. I highly recommend it.
  • The state house in Annapolis, Maryland (capitol visit #7) served as the Federal capital for a time.
  • In Tallahassee, Florida (capitol visit #25), the new capitol complex was built around the Classical-style old capitol. The old capitol is now a museum.
  • In Carson City, Nevada (capitol visit #30), the state legislature doesn't meet in the capitol building. Only the executive branch uses the capitol.
  • Only five state capital cities are not directly served by the Interstate highway system (and no, Honolulu is not among them):
  • When I visited Montgomery, Alabama (capitol visit #26), I couldn't go inside: it was closed for Jefferson Davis Day, a state holiday.
  • There is a statue of Abraham Lincoln on the capitol grounds not in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois (capitol visit #3), but in Charleston, West Virginia (capitol visit #19). Lincoln signed the enabling act admitting West Virginia to the Union on December 31, 1862.
  • Finally, should you visit the capitol in Montpelier, Vermont (capitol visit #13), remember that the mugs outside the chamber are personal property of legislators and not for public use:

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