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Encyclopedia > Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
(U.S. National Historic Landmark)
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Built/Founded: 1906
Architect: George B. Post
Architectural style(s): Beaux-Arts
Designated as NHL: January 3, 2001
Added to NRHP: October 15, 1970
NRHP Reference#: 70000031 [1]
Governing body: State
The park surrounding Wisconsin's capitol is the venue of several events throughout the year, including Taste of Madison, a showcase of more than 60 local restaurants, shown here in 2000. Scaffolding covers the southeast side of the rotunda as part of a project to clean and restore the building's exterior.
The park surrounding Wisconsin's capitol is the venue of several events throughout the year, including Taste of Madison, a showcase of more than 60 local restaurants, shown here in 2000. Scaffolding covers the southeast side of the rotunda as part of a project to clean and restore the building's exterior.
Wisconsin State Capitol by night
Wisconsin State Capitol by night
A view of the Capitol from outside
A view of the Capitol from outside
Pillars at the Wisconsin State Capitol
Pillars at the Wisconsin State Capitol

The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the state Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. The current building, completed in 1917, is the fifth building to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature convened in 1836 and the third building since Wisconsin was granted statehood in 1848. The streets surrounding the building form the Capitol Square which is home to many restaurants and shops. The square is a major hub for the Madison Metro bus service For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... This article or section needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ... For other uses, see Madison (disambiguation). ... George Browne Post (1837 - 1913) was a U.S. architect. ... ... This article or section needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ... is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... A typical plaque showing entry on the National Register of Historic Places. ... is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Download high resolution version (600x800, 60 KB) [1] 2000-09-03 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (600x800, 60 KB) [1] 2000-09-03 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This article is about the temporary framework. ... The famous Rotunda church in Thessaloniki, Greece. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (676 × 1023 pixel, file size: 346 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Taken by Darin ten Bruggencate around December 2004/January 2005. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (676 × 1023 pixel, file size: 346 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Taken by Darin ten Bruggencate around December 2004/January 2005. ... Image File history File links Wis-capitol. ... Image File history File links Wis-capitol. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2816 × 2112 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2816 × 2112 pixel, file size: 1. ... For other uses, see Madison (disambiguation). ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... The Wisconsin Legislature, based in Madison, is bicameral and is composed of the Wisconsin State Assembly and the Wisconsin Senate. ... The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state of Wisconsin. ... This is a list of governors from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Wisconsin Territory became an organized territory of the United States by an act of U.S. Congress passed on April 20, 1836 which went into effect on July 3, 1836. ... Madison Metro Transit operates extensive bus service throughout the city of Madison, Wisconsin and to the surrounding communities of Middleton, Fitchburg, and Verona. ...

Contents

First capitol

The first capitol was a prefabricated wood-frame council house hastily shipped to Belmont, Wisconsin with no heat or water. Legislators met there for 42 days after Belmont was designated the capital of Wisconsin Territory. The session chose Madison as the site of the capitol, and Burlington, Iowa as the site of further legislative sessions until Madison could be ready. The council house and an associated lodging house still stand and are operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society as the First Capitol Historic Site. Belmont is a village located in Lafayette County, Wisconsin. ... Burlington is a city in Des Moines County, Iowa, United States. ... Wisconsin Historical Society Headquarters, Madison, Wisconsin. ... First Capitol Historic Site is a free admission historic museum located outside Belmont, Wisconsin. ...


Second capitol

The second capitol was the first state house built in Madison, on the present site. Built in 1837 for $60,000 of stone cut from Maple Bluff and locally cut oak, it was small but typical of frontier state houses. Maple Bluff is a village located in Dane County, Wisconsin. ...


Third capitol

Growing government needs forced the state to construct a new capitol, also on the present site. This structure, with a similar U.S. Capitol-inspired dome, was built between 1857 and 1869. In 1882, the state expanded this capitol with two wings to the north and south at a cost of $900,000. In 1903, however, a commission began looking into replacing the structure.


1904 fire

On the night of February 26, 1904, a gas jet ignited a newly-varnished ceiling in the third capitol building. A nearby university reservoir was empty, so water had to be brought in from Milwaukee to fight the blaze. The situation was further complicated by the bitter cold temperatures; by the time the water reached Madison, it had started to freeze. As a result, the entire structure except the north wing burned to the ground. is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... University of Wisconsin redirects here. ... For other places with the same name, see Milwaukee (disambiguation). ...


The fire occurred just five weeks after the State Legislature voted to cancel the capitol's fire insurance policy.


Current building

Construction of the present capitol building, the third in Madison, began in late 1906 and was completed in 1917 at a cost of $7.25 million. The architect was George B. Post & Sons from New York. Due to financial limitations and the need for immediate office space to house state government employees, the construction of the new building was extended over several years and focused on building one wing at a time. George Browne Post (1837 - 1913) was a U.S. architect. ...


The Capitol is 284 feet, 5 inches tall from the ground floor to the top of the statue on the dome, making the building 3 feet shorter than the nation's capitol in Washington D.C. The "Wisconsin" statue on the dome was sculpted by Daniel Chester French of New York in 1920. Her left hand holds a globe with an eagle on it and her right arm is outstretched to symbolize the state motto, “Forward.” She wears a helmet with the state animal, the badger, on top. She is made of hollow bronze covered with gold leaf. Daniel Chester French Signature, Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was an American sculptor. ...

Forward by Jean P Miner

"Wisconsin" is 15 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs three tons. The statue is commonly misidentified as "Lady Forward" or "Miss Forward", which is the name of another statue on the capitol grounds. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 402 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (443 × 660 pixel, file size: 316 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran aka Carptrash 15:12, 21 October 2006 (UTC) I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 402 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (443 × 660 pixel, file size: 316 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran aka Carptrash 15:12, 21 October 2006 (UTC) I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy...


The Capitol was constructed out of 43 kinds of stone from six countries and eight states. The exterior stone is Bethel White granite from Vermont, and the exterior dome is the largest granite dome in the world. In the rotunda you can see marble from Greece, Algeria, Italy, and France along with Minnesota limestone, Norwegian syenite (Labradorite) and red granite from Waupaca, Wisconsin. Other Wisconsin granites are located throughout the public hallways on the ground, first, and second floors.


The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001. A 1990 state law prevents any building within one mile of the capitol from being taller than the base of the columns surrounding and supporting its dome.[2] This article or section needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ...


Capitol Restoration/Renovation

The Capitol recently underwent a 14-year renovation and restoration project. The project was undertaken wing by wing mirroring the original construction of the Capitol. The renovation started in 1988 and was finished in 2002 at a total cost of $158.8 million. The purpose of the project was to convert the Capitol into a modern working building while restoring and preserving its original 1917 appearance. Remodeling projects of the 1960's and 70's had introduced features out of character with the architecture of the Capitol such as drop ceilings, movable partitions and fluorescent light fixtures, and many original decorative stencils were painted over. The restoration project returned public spaces to their original appearance. Original decorative stencils have been repaired or recreated; gold leaf was replaced or restored, and marble surfaces were cleaned. Murals were cleaned and conserved in the public spaces. Skylights over the third and fourth floor interior offices and stairs which had been sealed in the 1970's were uncovered. The exterior granite was cleaned and repaired by workers who rappelled down from the dome. The renovation plan also included integrating modern technology into the original architecture. Electrical, mechanical (such as plumbing and heating) and communications systems were upgraded; asbestos was removed, and air conditioning was added. The Capitol basement floor was actually lowered two feet to provide additional usable office space. Legislative offices were rebuilt as two-room suites (originally legislators did not have offices in the Capitol, only their desks in the Senate and Assembly Chambers). Modern office furniture was designed to look like the original oak furniture.


Wisconsin Capitol sculpture program

Architect Post designed an elaborate sculpture program for the building. Initially the statue of Wisconsin on the top of the dome was promised to Helen Farnsworth Mears but when Daniel Chester French agreed to produce the finial figure, the commission was switched to him. This work, often referred to as the "Golden Lady," consists of an allegorical figure reminiscent of Athena, dressed in Greek garb, and wearing a helmet topped by a badger, the Wisconsin state totem. In the left hand she holds a globe with an eagle perched on top of it. Across her chest is a large W, for Wisconsin, a detail probably only viewable from an airplane. Helen Farnsworth Mears (1878-1916) was an American sculptor. ... Daniel Chester French Signature, Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was an American sculptor. ... For other uses, see Athena (disambiguation). ...


Post's original concept for the building called for four small domes to be placed at the foot of the large one, but at some point the plans were changed and the domes were replaced by four sculptural groups by Karl Bitter. These groups (again, in Greek clothing) symbolized Faith, Strength, Prosperity and Abundance. Karl Bitter (December 6, 1867 – April 9, 1915) was an Austrian born United States sculptor best known for his architectural sculpture, memorials and residential work. ...


Each of the four wings of the building is fronted by a pediment whose figures relate to the principal activities that were to take place within. Thus the east wing, housing the Supreme Court, features a pediment by Bitter entitled Law, the south has Adolph Alexander Weinman's Virtues and Traits of Character, for the wing containing the State Senate. Bitter's other pediment, the west, is Agriculture, while Attilio Piccirilli's Wisdom and Learning of the World adorns the north pediment. A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section or gable found above the horizontal superstructure (entablature) which lies immediately upon the columns. ... Elks Memorial in Chicago Adolph Alexander Weinman (December 11, 1870 – August 8, 1952) was an American sculptor, born in Karlsruhe, Germany. ... Attilio Piccirilli was an American born in Massa-Cararra, Italy, on May 16, 1866 and died in New York City on October 8, 1945. ...


The carving of all these sculptures is attributed to the Piccirilli Brothers. The Piccirilli Brothers were a family of renowned marble carvers who carved a large number of the most significant marble sculptures in the United States, including Daniel Chester French’s colossal Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. In 1888, Giuseppe Piccirilli (1844-1910), a well-known stone carver...

Trivia

  • Some of the stones used in the building contain fossils. The second flight of stairs in the north wing, on the left side of the grand staircase, fourth step from the bottom, contains a starfish fossil. [1]
  • The remains of Old Abe, the Civil War eagle of the 8th Wisconsin regiment, now depicted on the shoulder patch of the 101st Airborne, were destroyed in the 1904 fire. A replica tribute sits above the Wisconsin State Assembly floor.
  • The wings' pillars are draped in wire meshing to prevent birds from nesting in the ornate carvings.
  • The Capitol has: 705 rooms, 714 exterior windows, 1608 doors, and 2782 steps.
  • On May 5, 2008 the Capitol was used as a location for the film Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

Old Abe depicted on a 1919 postcard. ... (Redirected from 101st Airborne) Shoulder sleeve patch of the United States Army 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. ... The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. ... John Christopher Depp II[1] (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, best known for his frequent portrayals of offbeat and eccentric characters such as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and the titular character of Tim Burtons Edward Scissorhands. ... Christian Charles Philip Bale (also known professionally as Christian Morgan Bale; born 30 January 1974) is a Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated, Saturn Award-winning Welsh actor[2][3] whose film credits include Empire of the Sun, American Psycho, Equilibrium, The Machinist, Batman Begins and the upcoming The Dark Knight. ...

References

  1. ^ National Register Information System. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service (2006-03-15).
  2. ^ 1989 Wisconsin Act 222. State of Wisconsin (April 12, 1990). Retrieved on 2006-10-03.
  • Dennis, James M., Karl Bitter Architectural Sculptor: 1867 - 1915, University of Wisconsin Press 1967
  • Lombardo, Josef Vincent, Atilio Piccirilli: Life of an American Sculptor, Pitman Publishing Corporation, New York 1944
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Architectural Sculpture in America, unpublished manuscript
  • Landau, Sarah Bradford, George B. Post: Picturesque Designer and Determined Realist, The Montacelli Press, New York, NY, 1998
  • Rajer, Anton and Christine Style, Public Sculpture in Wisconsin: An Atlas of Outdoor Monuments, Memorials and Masterpieces in the Badger State, SOS! Save Outdoor Sculpture, Wisconsin, Madison Wisconsin, 1999
  • Schevill, , Ferdinand, Karl Bitter – A Biography, University of Chicago Press, Chicago Illinois, 1917
  • Wisconsin State Capitol: Guide and History, State of Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Buildings and Grounds, 1991

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... is the 102nd day of the year (103rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

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A Capitol Idea! (2115 words)
The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, was built between 1871 and 1886, and is a fine example of 19th century architecture.
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Wisconsin State Capitol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (419 words)
The Wisconsin State Capitol, located in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both arms of the Wisconsin legislature, the state Supreme Court, and the Office of the Governor.
The current building, completed in 1917, is actually the fourth building to serve as state capitol since the first territorial legislature convened in 1836 and the third building since Wisconsin was granted statehood in 1848.
It is the only granite covered capitol in the U.S. The dome is constructed from White Bethel Granite from Vermont and is the only granite dome in the United States.
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