Sunday, November 27, 2011

Amazing Architecture

The other day while in Madison we went to see the state capital building. This is the first time I saw this particular building. During my corporate days I had to speak at hearings in many state capitals around the country to further the cause of point-of-care patient testing, but I don't think any were as incredible as the state capital in Madison.

From the outside the building looks like many other state capitals.  Here is a shot of my son, daughter-in-law, and me standing in front.  It is interesting that the capital sits right next to the campus of the University of Wisconsin.

The first state capital was built in 1838.  It was replaced by one built in 1863, which later was severely damaged by fire. George B. Post & Sons designed the current Capitol, which was built between 1906 and 1917 at a cost of $7.25 million. The Madison Capitol is distinguished as being the only State Capitol ever built on an isthmus situated between the  picturesque waters of Lake Monona and Lake Mendota.

Reaching to a height of over 200 feet, the Capitol dome is topped by Daniel Chester French's elegant gilded bronze statue, on the inside of the routunda, Edwin Blashfield's mural "Resources of Wisconsin" lavishly decorates the ceiling.  The routunda is the only granite dome in the United States. Inside, the floor, columns, and other architectural structures are made from 43 varieties of stone from around the world, hand-carved furniture and exquisite glass mosaics.

As we walked up the steps of the capital, we worked our way past a sing-along protest group that is fighting to recall the current governor, Scott Walker.

Here are a couple of photos looking straight up at the routunda.

Around the four sides of the base of the routunda are incredible mosaics.

Even the elevators are awesome.

Each wing of the capital bulding houses different sections of the state's government.

Everything is ornate, including the floors.  The attention to detail was incredible.

The Wisconson badger is featured on one of the upper levels.

On the second floor there is a replica of the liberty bell.

In Europe there are many more ornate buildings, but few in this country are as interesting as Wisconsin's state capital.

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