Then and Now: October/November 2011

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Michigan Capitol

This Month's Statehouse Photo

Michigan's Capitol in Lansing, completed in 1878, is the third building to house state government. The first was in Detroit, the original seat of state government. The Italianate style building was designed by architect Elijah Myers, who later designed the capitol buildings in Denver and Austin. The building underwent an extensive renovation that was completed in 1992. One unusual feature of the Capitol grounds is a catalpa tree that dates from when the building was dedicated in 1873. It's believed to be the largest living tree of its kind in the nation. 




25 Years Ago

Articles from the October 1986 issue of State Legislatures:

“The picture that emerged from a recent NCSL survey is one of fiscal deterioration. During fiscal year 1989, most states spent more dollars than they took in.”

“The cost of American elections may well top the $2 billion mark this year. Political action committees bankroll much of the expense, and their influence and money are fast becoming a campaign issue.”

“Oregon voters will decide this fall whether they want their state to legalize the cultivation and use of marijuana in small amounts. Alaska passed similar legislation in 1975.”

Did You Know?

Connecticut "Genius" statue

Randolph Rogers, an American living in Rome, created a bronze statue for the Connecticut Capitol and in 1878, the 6,600 lb. winged figure was fastened atop the dome. But after several years and a major hurricane, it became wobbly, leading to a heated discussion over what to do about it. The local newspaper editor joined the debate, writing, “The question facing Connecticut is whether it wants a loose woman on the roof or a fallen woman in the streets.” The statue was eventually removed in 1938 and placed in the basement. In 1942, it was donated to the federal government, which melted it down for ammunition and machine parts. Today, its original plaster model is on display in the north lobby of the Capitol.. 

—From “A Celebration of State Capitols,” by Richard Gibson and the Connecticut General Assembly website.