Saturday, June 27, 2015

State Capitol Complex

November 2, 1889, North Dakota became a state with Bismarck being the State Capitol.

Fire destroyed the first Capitol Building.

With a 2 million dollar budget for the new one, builders sought a style that would be efficient in space and operation, Art Deco. The 19-story building sits on 132 acres with the Administrator Tower standing 241 feet and 8 inches tall.

We were given a private tour as we were the only ones there to take one.

The first floor, Memorial Hall, was quite impressive with its 40 foot ceiling. The chandeliers (12 feet long), represent a head of wheat with each one weighing 1000 pounds and contains 109 light bulbs, turned on only at night.

The raised sculptures above the revolving brass doors represent two of North Dakotas largest industries: farming and mining.

The ceiling in the House of Representatives is the only thing different I will mention. The lighting is called "Stars and Moon at Night." In the Senate, it is called "Sunrise or Sunset."

Our guide took us to the top of the tower. As we entered the elevator, she talked about the bronze door sculptures depicting "The Pioneer Experience." 

There were beautiful kinds of wood used throughout, and lots of marble from various states.

We looked for the Liberty Bell and found out it was on loan...was not there!!!

From the top, we were able to see for 35 miles away. 

We stopped near the entrance to get our book stamped to validate our visit.

We were surprised to see there was no security. Wallace always empties his pockets of his knife and fingernail clippers, but it was not even necessary here.

We had a little time to check out the Heritage Center where we found the statue of Sakakawea, "The Bird Woman." She guided the Lewis and Clark expedition.

We really liked the Buffalo sculpture made from rebar.

The Heritage Center is mind boggling. We did not have time to do it justice, but I might cover it in another post.

This State Capitol was not the most beautiful, but there were some interesting things to see...if you go, ask to see the "monkey room."

Oh yes, we recently had another person to join our blog...welcome to you, Mollie.

Until next time...


  1. Been a while since we toured that statute capital, so your photos brought back some memories.