For quite awhile we have been visiting state capitols and getting a stamp for a passport book called “Capitol Collection.” Every state capitol has a specially designed stamp and there is a page for each in the book. I have already written about visiting the capitol in St. Paul MN and this week we visited the state capitol in Little Rock AR.
When we walked up to the building I felt like I had already seen this building. It is built of white marble with a tall dome in the center, a long marble staircase at the entrance (even though you really enter through a tunnel under the stairs), and two wings for the two houses of Congress. There are four floors and a basement which has a cafeteria. The fourth floor was mainly exhibits and paintings. The third floor contained the galleries overlooking the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. On the second floor you could look into these houses and also enter the old Supreme Court chambers, the governor’s reception room, and the state treasurer’s office with its no longer used vault. You could also look up at the dome and the beautiful chandelier. The front doors are made of polished bronze (from Tiffany’s in New York) and have not been opened since 9/11. The first floor is mainly offices, security, gift shop, etc.
So, after viewing all of this I was reading the brochure and discovered that the architect was Cass Gilbert – the same architect who designed and built the Minnesota Capitol! He finished Minnesota in 1905 and started this one in 1909. No wonder they looked so much alike. However, Arkansas does not have all of the beautiful paintings, statues, and other decorative elements that Minnesota has. The house chambers are rather plain and there is no Rathskeller!
|Arkansas state capitol|
|Minnesota state capitol|
So, now I have 6 more capitals to visit and I will have seen all 50 – hurrah!