The Capitol building is beautiful, with stunning architecture, intricate details and years of history. Here are nine things every visitor should know:
- The Capitol design features 17 different types of marble. Much of the marble came from other countries.
- It would take 2.3 million pure copper pennies to make up the Capitol dome! (Pure copper pennies haven’t been minted since 1857, before construction on the capitol even began.)
- There is one remaining “office” sink in the Capitol. Historians are unsure why the one sink remains. In the late 1800s it was common for government offices to have sinks and sometimes even baths, due to long and dusty travel conditions.
- The Capitol is the tallest building in Topeka. It’s not a city ordinance, but a taller building has never been approved.
- The Kansas Capitol is the second tallest, out of 38, traditional dome Capitols in the United States.
- The Ad Astra statue was added to the dome after schoolchildren voted for it. Representing a Kaw warrior pointing his arrow at the North Star, the sculpture was crafted by Richard Bergen. It is named from the state’s official motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” which is Latin for “To the stars through difficulty.”
- The Capitol will tarnish (and turn green again) in 30-40 years.
- When the Capitol was finished in 1903, after 37 years of construction, there was no debt on the building.
- The oldest book in the State Library, inside the Capitol, is from 1741 and written by Sir Francis Bacon.