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State Capitols
A Never-ending Hobby

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Contributors' Corner
 
 

What's On Top, Cupolas (on domes) 2

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Minnesota — Dome, Eagle Statues, Cupola

Capitol dome
image courtesy of Mulad

Dome
The dome is made of white Georgia marble and is one of only a few self-supporting marble domes in the world. Others include St. Peter's in Rome, the Taj Mahal, and the Rhode Island state capitol. The building was designed to be very similar to St. Peter's in Rome, though simplified and smaller.


Eagle statue
detail from
image above

Dome port
dome port detail
from image above

Eagles
At the base of the dome stand twelve marble eagles, one above each of the pairs of columns around the drum.

Six Virtues
Below the Quadriga are six statues called the "Virtues." They are Bounty, Courage, Integrity, Prudence, Truth, and Wisdom.

Cupola
The roof and the ball tip of the ornate cupola are gilded.

Cupola
detail from
image at left

Minnesota capitol entrance
image courtesy of
Scott W. Coulter,
Apple Valley, Minnesota

Quadriga
Quadriga (above) and Virtues (below)
images courtesy of Mulad

Bounty Courage and Integrity Prudence and Truth Wisdom

 
More on Minnesota:
Telling Them Apart, Prominent Decorations

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Cupolas (on domes) 2

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South Dakota — Dome, Cupola

South Dakota capitol front entrance
image courtesy of
J Stephen Conn

Dome Construction
All we really see of the dome is the copper sheathing and the large port windows. Underneath those are curved steel beams and concrete. The construction of the drum required 100 tons of iron, 350,000 bricks, and 30 cars of cut stone.

South Dakota dome and drum
image courtesy of
Edward Crim, photographer,
the State Capitols project

Capitol cupola




image
courtesy of
Edward Crim, photographer,
the State Capitols
project


Cupola
Rather than just the roof like usual, this entire cupola is apparently covered in copper.

Red Lights
There are photos on the Internet I couldn't use here that show a red light beaming from the cupola at night. Some show no light at all.

 
More on South Dakota:
Telling Them Apart, Unique Architectural Components
Favorites, Nature

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Cupolas (on domes) 2

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Utah — Dome, Cupola

Capitol dome and drum
detail from image at far right

Dome and Drum Renovation
The Utah capitol was shut down for major renovation from 2004 to 2008. The focus for the drum and dome was to return to the original plan - to use terra cotta for everything possible on the exterior. To save money, the builders had done much in stucco instead. The resulting deterioration led to leakage and damage in interior areas. The stucco was replaced with terra cotta in the restoration.

Utah capitol cupola

Cupola
The roof of this open cupola is covered in copper like the dome. The sphere at the very top holds a light, as can be seen in the night image below.

image courtesy of
Edward Crim, photographer,
the State Capitols
project


Capitol dome at night
image courtesy of ReneS
 

Utah capitol front entrance
image courtesy of
Jesse Michael Nix


Skylights
The architect, Richard K.A. Kletting, emphasized bringing natural light into the capitol. Besides other interesting, enlightening features, like the glass rotunda floor, he designed the roof with skylights over 25 percent of its surface.

 
More on Utah:
Telling Them Apart, General Impressions
Favorites, Nature
Favorites, Night Shots

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Cupolas (on domes) 2

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Washington — Dome, Cupola

Washington capitol dome
image courtesy of
Seth Gaines
 
 

Washington cupola
detail from
image at left
 

Dome
The most attention-grabbing feature of the Washington state capitol building is the large dome, which rises to 287 feet and weighs 30 million pounds. It is one of the largest masonry domes in the world built without steel support.

Cupola
In early photographs, the cupola looks different. The original was a victim of an earthquake in 1949 and had to be replaced.

2001 Earthquake
On February 28, 2001, an earthquake damaged the Washington capitol. It cracked the dome and moved several of the freestanding columns around its base up to six inches. Not surprisingly, the repair plan included evacuation of the building for an extended time. Under a 30 million pound dome with support compromised is not a good place to be.

Dome Detail
image courtesy of
Seth Gaines
 

Ornamentation
In distant images, this capitol just looks big and gray, but close-ups reveal quite a bit of ornamentation.

Dome Detail
detail from
image at right

Honeysuckle
A section of the dome pictured at right is shown in closer detail on the left. Notice the fan shapes, otherwise known as a honeysuckle pattern, and the way the larger fans are centered at the corners. Honeysuckle decorations can be found on other capitols also.

Columns
The tops of the columns (capitals) sport their own share of carving. The flower or flute at the top is my favorite part of this piece.


detail from
image at left

 
More on Washington:
Telling Them Apart, Hidden Letters

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Cupolas (on domes) 2

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Wyoming — Skylights, Dome, Cupola

Dome
What makes the gilding on this dome and the cupola a bit different is that it covers the inset sections, but not the ribs. The effect complements the style, and the result is a very pretty drum and dome.

Dome Detail
detail from image at right
 

Ornamentation
This image shows the detail around the bottom edge of the dome. I believe the fan shapes are a stone version of the Honeysuckle decoration found on the North Carolina and Tennessee capitols. Remember them! You will see the honeysuckle pattern on other capitols, too.

 

Wyoming capitol dome
images courtesy of
Joshua Works

 

Cupola
This cupola is unusual for a capitol since it has no windows or other openings.

Wyoming capitol cupola
detail from
image at left

Skylights
At the ends of this very long building are skylight domes over the House and Senate chambers. Beneath them are stained glass ceilings.

Wyoming Capitol
images courtesy of
Pete Arnold
 

Skylight Dome
detail from
image at left
 

 

 
Most images of this capitol show the skylight domes as very dark. It is surprising to see the clear roof in this image from inside one.

Skylight from inside


image courtesy of
First Glass Images
 

 

 
More on Wyoming:
Telling Them Apart, It's In the Drum
Favorites, Nature

 

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There's a great view fromt the state capitol
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Page Last Updated: Jul-10-2013

For complete image credits and information sources, see Credits & Sources.

Site Author: Valerie Mockaitis     ©2005-2013 Valerie Mockaitis

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