Thanks to the diligent efforts of many, the Kansas State Capitol will be open for Saturday tours beginning June 3. In celebration of the increased access to the Crown Jewel of Topeka, a commemoration event will begin at 10:30 a.m., outside the building at the visitor entrance to the statehouse on 8th Street.
Thanks to the efforts of Rep. John Alcala, Sen. Laura Kelly, Whitney Damron, the City of Topeka, Kansas State Historical Society, Visit Topeka, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Topeka, Inc. and others, the Capitol will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through the end of 2017. The hope is the arrangement will become permanent.
“We are excited to share the news that the people’s building will now be open during hours conducive for them to visit. The Capitol, our most visited attraction, is a gem all Kansans should be proud of and we know visitors and Topekans alike will enjoy taking tours on Saturdays,” said Brett Oetting, president and CEO of Visit Topeka. “We are grateful to our partners in this effort and look forward to kicking off the tours on June 3 during the Capital City Family & Food Truck Festival. Climb all 296 steps to the top of the Dome and experience Topeka like never before.”
Visit Topeka is contributing more than $20,000 to help cover the cost of staffing that will make the Saturday historical tours and dome tours possible. The historical society and Capitol Police also are making special arrangements to make the Saturday hours possible. The arrangements would not be possible without the support of legislators as well.
“It’s so great to be a part of this collaboration between the city and their partners and the state to make this Kansas treasure open to the public an extra day each week,” said Jennie Chinn, executive director of the Kansas State Historical Society.
The commemoration event Saturday, June 3, will begin at 10:30 a.m. and include remarks from Sen. Kelly, Mayor Larry Wolgast, Visit Topeka’s Oetting and representatives of the Kansas State Historical Society.
Each Saturday, tours will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and self-guided visiting also is encouraged. In 2016, 72,400 people visited the Kansas Capitol, during Monday through Friday visiting hours.
“We are so pleased that this magnificent building, which ranks among Kansas’ foremost architectural treasures, will now be accessible on Saturdays,” said Mayor Wolgast. “Now families from across the region will be able to add the Statehouse to their list of things to see when they visit the Capital city. In fact, I firmly believe many of them will now choose to spend a weekend in Topeka solely so they can take these tours. Even more exciting than the prospects for increased tourism and community pride, the collaboration that made this possible proves we really are better together.”
As Topeka's official destination marketing organization, Visit Topeka is dedicated to marketing the region as an exceptional destination for meetings, events, sports and leisure tourism, thereby enhancing the local economy. Visit Topeka is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization. Learn more at VisitTopeka.com.