Then and Now: February 2013 | STATE LEGISLATURES MAGAZINE
This Month's Statehouse Photo
This month's photo is of the Idaho Capitol in Boise. The Renaissance Revival building rises 208 feet and is considered the state’s most significant historic structure. It houses both branches of the Legislature along with executive offices in its 190,000 square feet of office space.
Construction took place in two phases. Work on the central portion—including the rotunda and dome, the north wing housing the Supreme Court, and the offices on either side of the east and west corridors—began in 1905. A building expansion started in 1919 on the east and west wings. It was completed the following year and provided additional office space for numerous agencies. The expansion also included meeting chambers for the House and Senate, with each chamber illuminated by skylights
The Capitol is set on a granite bases and employs local sandstone blocks shaped to suggest stacked logs similar to the early log buildings of Idaho's pioneer era. The terra cotta dome is topped with a traditional illuminated lantern that offers a perch for a bronze eagle..
Source: Idaho Capitol Commission website
25 Years Ago
Articles from the February 1988 issue of State Legislatures:
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
“Connecticut’s new Legislative Office Building is a modern counterpoint to a venerable old Capitol, and a monument for the next century.”
ARE THERAPISTS LIABLE FOR THEIR PATIENTS’ VIOLENCE?
“Nine states have passed legislation addressing this issue of conflicting concerns: protecting mental health professionals, protecting victims, protecting patients.”
PRISONS CAN COST LESS
“With growing numbers of prisoners and the high cost of prison construction, careful planning is needed to build good facilities while keeping expenses down.”
Did You Know?
The Kansas State Capitol in Topeka was a work in progress for a long time—and still is. Construction began in 1866 and after having to replace the foundation, the predominantly French Renaissance building was completed in sections spanning 37 years. The central, domed section was added in 1903, connecting the east and west wings. In 2002, Richard Bergen’s bronze sculpture of a Kansa warrior shooting his arrow toward the North Star was placed on top of the dome. Called Ad Astra from the state motto, “Ad astra per aspera” (“to the stars through difficulties”), the statue was selected to honor the state’s American Indian heritage. Fun facts: There are 11 fireplaces on the second floor, a hand-operated “cage” elevator in the east wing and several movies were filmed at the Capitol, including HBO’s “Truman.” The capitol is currently undergoing a costly and sometimes controversial renovation, but work is expected to be complete in early 2014.
—From “A Celebration of State Capitols” by Richard Gibson, the Kansas Historical Society and Kansas.com