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State Capitols
A Never-ending Hobby . . .

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Contributors' Corner
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Statues of Ladies, Part 2

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Pennsylvania — Drum, Dome, Cupola, Statue

Pennsylvania capitol dome
image courtesy of David Wright

The Dome
The entire roof of the Pennsylvania capitol is made of green glazed terra cotta tile, which is a unique finish for a capitol dome. Also unusual are the 48 ornate portholes in the dome, three in each of 16 sections.

Dome detail
from image courtesy of
Red All Over Design
 

The Detail
The extensive detail on this dome reflects the attention to detail in the interior of the capitol. The gold barrels at the bottoms of the dome ribs and the gold stripes on the ribs are a surprise, as is the lion’s head on the center porthole (see image at left). I wonder whether any of these are visible from the ground. If you know, please see Visitor's Challenge.

Pennsylvania's Miss Penn
image courtesy of
Red All Over Design

Miss Penn
The gilded bronze Miss Penn is 17 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 3 tons. She was originally placed on the dome in May of 1905. In December of 1997 the statue was removed for major restoration. Miss Penn was not returned until September of 1998.

Capitol domes
image courtesy of
Aviator Dave

Miss Penn
detail from
image below, left
 

The Statue
Her original name was Commonwealth, and her nicknames have been Miss Commonwealth, The Spirit of Commonwealth, Miss Penn, and Letitia, the name of the artist’s daughter and supposed inspiration. The statue on the Pennsylvania state capitol building was designed by the capitol architect, Joseph Huston and sculpted by Roland Hinton Perry. In her left hand, Miss Penn holds a staff with a flowing ribbon garland, a symbol of justice, which has a traditional Federal eagle standing on the tip. Her right arm is raised and her right hand held out, palm down, in a symbol of mercy.

Dome port detail
Center Porthole
detail from
image at right

Side Domes
Each side wing of the capitol has another dome covering the stained glass ceiling in the chamber below. These are also covered with the green glazed terra cotta tile.

 
More on Pennsylvania:
Telling Them Apart, General Impressions
Favorites, Footprints
Favorites, Intriguing Interiors 3
Favorites, Just Because
Favorites, Statues

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Statues of Ladies, Part 2

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Texas — Drums, Dome, Cupola, Statue

Texas capitol dome
image courtesy of
WingedMammal.com
 

Dome
This dome is made entirely of metal. It has a wrought-iron frame and a galvanized iron outer shell, which has been painted to match the Texas red granite facing on the building.

The bright red-orange color of the capitol in this image is probably due to sunset lighting. Most images show the red much more subdued.

The Old Lady
image courtesy of Texas Senate Media Services (photo link)

Statue
On top of the Texas state capitol building dome is the Goddess of Liberty, also known as the Old Lady. She is a replica. The original was cast in white bronze, weighs almost 3,000 pounds, and is 15 feet, 7 1/2 inches tall. She has been restored and is on display in the Texas Memorial Museum. This newer Old Lady, made of aluminum and holding a gilded star, replaced the original in 1986.


Texas cupola
image courtesy of Roland

Cupola
This cupola has quite a lot of detailed ornamentation, as do many other parts of the dome and drums.

Texas cupola detail
detail from
image at left

 

Six Flags medallions
image courtesy of The Jamoker

Six Flags
Over the main entrance arch are the six medallions shown above. They are representations of the "Six flags over Texas," a familiar slogan about the six nations that have had sovereignty over some or all of the land that is currently in the state of Texas. From left to right, they are Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederate States of America, and The United States of America.

 
More on Texas:
Telling Them Apart, Unique Architectural Components

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Statues of Ladies, Part 2

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Vermont — Drum, Dome, and Statue

Vermont capitol dome


from image courtesy of
Benjamin Harrison



Dome
The Vermont state capitol building dome is wood sheathed with copper and gilded with 23.7 carat gold. There is no cupola, but the railing around the six-foot tall pedestal for the statue has a similar effect. When this dome was first completed in 1859, it was painted terra cotta red.

 

Ceres
from image courtesy
of Benjamin Harrison
 
 

Ceres
The statue is named “Agriculture,” or “Ceres” for the Goddess of Agriculture. She holds a sheaf of wheat in her left arm, and she was chosen to represent the importance of agriculture to the state. The original statue was wooden and had to be removed in 1938 due to deterioration. This 14-foot replacement, based on the original by Larkin Mead, was carved by the Sergeant-at-Arms Dwight Dwinell and his janitorial staff. Dwinell was 87 years old at the time.


The Vermont capitol dome is one of only a few that are external decorations only, with no view of them from a rotunda or other public space underneath. Vermont's had skylights under the dome in the architect's original plan, but things changed during construction. See Favorites, That's a Laugh.

More on Vermont:
Telling Them Apart, General Impressions
Favorites, Photographic Art
Favorites, That's A Laugh

 
 

statecapitols.tigerleaf.com
What's On Top, Statues of Ladies, Part 2

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Wisconsin — Dome, Drum Sculptures, Three Observation Decks, Cupola, Statue

Dome
The dome is made of white Bethel Vermont granite, as is the rest of the exterior of the Wisconsin state capitol building. It is the largest dome by volume and the only granite dome in the United States. Encircling it are three observation decks, the lowest of which is open for public viewing during the summer.

Drum Sculpture
(far right)
There are four sculptures around the drum, a rather unusual place for this art. They sit in front of the column circle with solid panels behind them instead of the open space found between the other columns.

Wisconsin capitol dome
image courtesy of Ada Conformity Assessment Authority

By the way, the dome photo was taken through a window, causing a blue-gray tint.

Wisconsin capitol dome statue
dome statue
image courtesy of Jon Booker

Dome Statue
She is a gilded bronze statue named "Wisconsin," which symbolizes the state motto, "Forward." Wisconsin is 15 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs over 3 tons. In her left hand, she holds a globe with an eagle on it, and on top of her helmet is a badger, the state animal.

Wisconsin capitol drum sculpture
drum sculpture
image courtesy of
Jeff Horner

 
More on Wisconsin:
Telling Them Apart, Domed But Different
Favorites, Footprints
Favorites, Night Shots
Favorites, Photographic Art

 

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Page Last Updated: Jun-25-2013

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

Site Author: Valerie Mockaitis     ©2005-2013 Valerie Mockaitis

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