Then and Now: May 2012 | STATE LEGISLATURES MAGAZINE
This Month's Statehouse Photo
This month's photo is of the Virginia Capitol in Richmond. The building is the eighth to serve as Virginia's statehouse. Fires destroyed or damaged earlier buildings used by legislators in the Colonial era.
The commonwealth's first capital was Jamestown, before it was moved to Richmond. When the legislature met in 1780 in Richmond, it began plans for the new Capitol on Shockoe Hill overlooking the falls of the James River. Thomas Jefferson is credited with designing the building in the monumental classical style, modeling it on the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, an ancient Roman temple. It also marked the birth of the classical revival movement in the United States and influenced the design of countless public buildings. The building's cornerstone was laid in 1785 and the General Assembly met there for the first time in 1792. It is one of only 11 state capitols without an external dome.
Sources: Virginia State Capitol website; wikipedia.com
25 Years Ago
Articles from the May/June 1987 issue of State Legislatures:
200 YEARS LATER, THE DEBATE GOES ON
“What did the framers of the U.S. Constitution really intend? Should it be revised?”
DRUG TESTING: A CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION
“Proposals to test employees for drug use are gaining momentum nationwide.”
WARNING FOR STATES: YOUR DOCUMENTS ARE DETERIORATING
“Unless steps are taken to preserve them properly, many of the 2.5 billion historical records stored in state archives will crumble to dust."
Did You Know?
A woman designed Idaho’s state seal. Emma Edwards Green, an art teacher who fell in love with Boise, entered the $100 contest in 1890, and was the unanimous winner. It’s the only state seal designed by a woman. In 1957, the Legislature authorized an update to emphasize the state’s industries.
—From “A Celebration of State Capitols,” by Richard R. Gibson and the Idaho Secretary of State website