This Month's Statehouse Photo

Washington state houseThis month's photo is of the Washington State Capitol, also called the Legislative Building.

Washington State's Legislative Building was a six-year project that was completed in 1928. The centerpiece of five historic buildings designed by New York architects Walter Wilder and Harry White, the Legislative Building has withstood three major earthquakes, the most recent being the Feb. 28, 2001 "Nisqually" earthquake, thanks in large part to the excellent structural design by Wilder and White, and the superior craftsmanship of the original builders. The building underwent significant seismic upgrades following the earthquakes of 1949 and 1965. The Legislative Building is composed of more than 173 million pounds of stone, brick, concrete and steel. It is the fifth-tallest masonry dome in the world and the tallest in North America, rising 287 feet high.

Source: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

25 Years Ago

Articles from the November/December 1988 issue of State Legislatures:


George Bush’s impressive win of 40 states and 426 electoral votes had virtually no effect on congressional and state legislative elections. This election marked the first time since 1960 that a political party won the presidency but lost seats in Congress, and only the second time in 30 years that the president’s party lost seats in state legislatures.


In this country, good medical care is available for the rich and the middle class. For the poor it is being rationed, by design or by default. The emotional debate over health care rationing is one that will continue to simmer. It pits physicians against health policy critics, with lawmakers often in the middle.


All of a sudden, now that the baby boomers have grown up, the problems of working parents with children—once dismissed as “women’s issues”—have become hot political topics. 


New Hampshire flag Did you know …

Before the state capital site was designated, New Hampshire legislators met in eight different cities for more than a decade. Then in 1816, the state held a contest between the cities of Concord, Hopkinton and Salisbury. A major reason Concord won was its lower price tag. The city offered to donate the granite for the structure from the local quarry and use prison inmates for free labor. And that’s how the Statehouse was built for only $82,000. One of its defining features is the golden eagle on top of the dome. Originally carved from wood in 1818, the eagle has since undergone a few makeovers. After a 1938 hurricane blew it from its perch, it was replaced in 1957 with a gilded copper eagle replica.

—“A Celebration of State Capitols” by Richard R. Gibson and the New Hampshire government website,

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