Posts Tagged State Capitol

Montana State Capitol

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Today I visited the Montana State Capitol in Helena, Montana.  I was a little reminded by my visit to the Vermont State Capitol in 2012.  No security, no metal detectors.  Walk right in and make yourself at home.  In fact, if I had know better I would have been able to literally park right next to the entrance.  There were open spaces and no – “no parking” signs.

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I arrived too late to take part in a guided tour, so I was left on my own to explore.  The old Supreme Court Chambers looks like it is still being used in some capacity.  Why else would there be the out of place stackable chairs more commonly found in hotel conference rooms?

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If the House had been in session I might not have noticed, but since it wasn’t I was paying more close attention to the aesthetics.  The chamber is wallpapered.

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I wasn’t able to enter the Senate chamber.  All gallery doors were locked so I took this picture from a window in a door.

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This is the first state capitol cafeteria I have visited. It was closed, but wondered what the legislators who are “politically incorrect” do for lunch?

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Speaking of politically incorrect, I found this monument on the east side of the capitol grounds, nearly identical to the one formerly at the Oklahoma State Capitol.  Little did I know when I visited there a little over 2 years ago that the monument would be demolished, replaced and then ordered removed by the state supreme court.  I wonder what will happen to this monument over the next 2 years!

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Across the street from the capitol is the Montana Historical Society.  On the grounds of the museum is a replica of the Liberty Bell.  Yesterday was Independence Day, the 24oth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.  There were no signs but I’m guessing this replica was cast in 1976, the 200th anniversary, which is now 40 years ago!

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Mississippi State Capitol

Today I visited the Mississippi State Capitol, in Jackson, Mississippi.  The building has served as the seat of state government since 1903.  I took a guided tour of the building.  The legislature was out of session so I was able to enter both the house and senate chambers and then once the tour was over I was turned loose and allowed to roam about freely.

The outside grounds left something to be desired.  The majority of what would normally be green space around the capitol is actually a parking lot.  The “figurehead of the Battleship Mississippi” is one of the few monuments on the grounds.

Nearby is the Governor’s Mansion which was closed to the public due to renovations.  I was looking forward to taking a tour because it was occupied by Grant and Sherman during the Civil War.  Maybe next time.


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Unfinished business

If this view looks familiar, it’s because I visited the exact same site a little over 1 year ago.  When I stopped at the Virginia State Capitol last year I arrived too late to take a tour.  I planned things out a little better and was able to see the inside.  One thing I didn’t know before coming:  the Old House chamber served as the courtroom for Aaron Burr’s treason trial and was presided by Chief Justice John Marshall.

I also got to tour the Governors Mansion, which was occupied by 3 future presidents.

Before visiting the Capitol and Executive Mansion I made a brief visit to the Virginia War Memorial.  The memorial is staffed by veterans and I was given a personal guided tour of the small museum inside the memorial.

 


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Montpelier – State Capitol of Vermont

Montpelier is the home of the state capitol of Vermont.  Having recently visited the grounds of the state capitol in New York and last year in New Jersey, this was a bit of a change of pace.  Montpelier has a population of less than 8,000, making it the smallest state capitol in the United States.  The capitol building itself reminds me more of a county courthouse than a capitol building  – and I don’t say that in a condescending fashion.  It was surreal walking through the halls of this building encountering absolutely no security personnel.  The legislature was not in session but most of doors to the various agencies were open!  You could just walk in if you wanted to and probably meet the Secretary of Whatever.   In today’s world of metal detectors, security cameras and otherwise general presumption of guilt, this was a breath of fresh air.

 


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