Wyoming State Capitol

Wyoming State Capitol

Infobox Historic building
name=Wyoming State Capitol

caption=Wyoming State Capitol, seen from front, showing statue of Esther Hobart Morris.
location_town=Cheyenne, Wyoming
location_country=United States
architect=David W. Gibbs & Company
client=State of Wyoming
engineer=Adam Feick & Brothers
Infobox_nrhp | name =Wyoming State Capitol and Grounds
nrhp_type = nhl

caption =
location= 24th St. and Capitol Ave., Cheyenne, Wyoming
lat_degrees = 41
lat_minutes = 8
lat_seconds = 25
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 104
long_minutes = 49
long_seconds = 11
long_direction = W
locmapin = Wyoming
area =
built =1886
architect= Gibbs,David W. & Co.; Feick,Adam & Bro.
architecture= Renaissance, Other
designated= May 4, 1987cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1393&ResourceType=Building
title=Wyoming State Capitol |accessdate=2008-06-27|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service
added = January 29, 1973cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2008-04-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
governing_body = State

The Wyoming State Capitol is the state capitol and seat of government of the U.S. state of Wyoming. Built between 1886 and 1890, the capitol is located in Cheyenne and contains the chambers of the Wyoming State Legislature and well as the office of the Governor of Wyoming. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987.citation|title=PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/73001935.pdf National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: _______] |32 KB|date=__, 19__ |author=____WEBSITE DOWN ADD LATER____ |publisher=National Park Service and PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Photos/73001935.pdf "Accompanying ___ photos, exterior and interior, from 19__"] |32 KB] [As "Wyoming State Capitol and Grounds" or alternate name "Wyoming Capitol Building and Grounds", the property was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It was further designated an NHL in 1987.]


The construction of the capitol was authorized in Wyoming Territory in 1886 by the Ninth Territorial Legislature Assembly, which specified that the cost should not exceed USD 150,000. Governor Francis E. Warren appointed a five-member commission to select and purchase a site in Cheyenne, as well as to select an architect and solicit for construction. The commission selected the architectural firm of David W. Gibbs & Company, which submitted plans and specification, which were accepted in July 1886. The construction contract was awarded to Adam Freick & Brothers, which submitted the lowest bid at $136,275.12. Construction began on September 9, 1886. The cornerstone was laid on May 18, 1887. The original cornerstone contained maps and a roster of territorial officers. During the centennial celebration of the capitol in 1987, the cornerstone was removed, the original documents were replaced, and the cornerstone was reset.

The Tenth Territorial Legislative Assembly convened in the building in 1888 while it was still under construction. The east and west wings of the building were completed in April 1890, during the year of the Statehood of Wyoming. The First State Legislature convened in the building in November 1890. As the state grew over the next few decades, the building became increasingly cramped. In 1915, the Thirteenth State Legislative authorized the construction of the House and Senate chambers, which were completed in March 1917.

In 1974 the 42nd State Legislature authorized funds for the first phase of a renovation of the building. The renovation was completed in 1980 at a total cost of $7.6 million. It included stripping and staining all woodwork, painting walls in the original design, replacing wooden floor beams with steel and concrete, as well as modernizing the wiring, heating, plumbing, and air conditioning.

The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.


The capitol is located north of downtown Cheyenne. It is Corinthian in style with a central dome and portico reminiscent of the United States Capitol. It has three stories above ground, and one floor below ground. The first two courses of the building are made of sandstone quarried near Fort Collins, Colorado. The remainder is sandstone from near Rawlins, Wyoming. The central dome is covered with 24 carat (100%) gold leaf and has been gilded six times, between 1900 and 1988. It stands 146 ft (43 m) high and 50 ft (15 m) wide at its base, and is visible from roads entering the city.

The interior of the building features a ground-floor rotunda from which the interior of the central dome is directly visible overhead. The dome interior features blue and green stained glass from England. Since normal sunlight cannot penetrate the glass, electrical lights were installed within the dome to illuminate the glass from behind. The officers of four of Wyoming's five elected officials— Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, and Treasurer— have their officers on the ground floor surrounding the rotunda.

The wood in the rotunda is cherry. The rotunda also features a prominent statue of Chief Washakie of the Shoshoni. The wings of the ground floor contain several large taxidermy specimens, including a mounted bison which was raised with the state herd in Hot Springs State Park near Thermopolis. The bison weighed approximately 3,000 lb (1350 kg) while living, and is the third largest bison recorded in the Boone and Crocket Book of Records.

The Senate chamber is the west wing of the second floor building; the House chamber is in the east wing of the second floor. Each chamber contains four large murals by Allen True, who painted them in August 1917 for a cost of $500 each. The murals depicting various aspects of the culture, history, and industry of Wyoming. The murals in the Senate chamber are entitled "Indian Chief Cheyenne", "Frontier Cavalry Officer", "Pony Express Rider", and "Railroad Builders/Surveyors". The House murals are entitled "Cattlemen", "Trappers", "Homesteaders", and "Stagecoach". The ceilings of both chambers are inlaid with Tiffany-style stained glass, with the Wyoming State Seal displayed in the center. Both chambers are accessible to visitors by balconies on the third floor. The House chamber also includes two oil paintings by William Gollings. The wood in both chambers is oak.

The exterior approach to the front steps of the capitol features a prominent statue of Esther Hobart Morris, who played a significant role in gaining women's suffrage in the Wyoming Territory. The statue is by sculptor Avard Fairbanks. The Act to grant women the right to vote was passed by the First Territorial Assembly and signed by Governor J.A. Campbell on December 10, 1869. Wyoming thus claims to be the first government in the world to grant women the right to vote. Morris was also appointed as the first female Justice of the Peace in the territory in 1870. A replica of the Morris statue stands in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.


The capitol is open to the public during business hours during the week. The front desk in the rotunda provides informational pamphlets. Tours also are available. Wyoming's Capitol is unusual in that it is highly accessible by the public at all times of the year, including during the Legislative session.

ee also

* List of tallest buildings by U.S. state


External links

* [http://ai.state.wy.us/capitoltour/index.htm Wyoming State Capitol: Official Site]
* [http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/capitol.htm Wyoming State Capitol]

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