Sunday, April 5, 2015

Oklahoma State Capitol

WARNING:  This post has a ton of pictures, so if you're on a phone or are data limited you may not want to download them all.

Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma City
 This capitol is the only in the nation that has active oil wells on its property. 

One of the bucket list items we have is to try to visit as many state capitols as possible.  Don't know if it will happen, but we did visit the Oklahoma State Capitol.  As with many states, Oklahoma's capitol wasn't originally located in Oklahoma City, but in Guthrie, OK.  We did not get a chance to visit Guthrie this time, so will have to put it on a "do-over" list.

We toured the capitol on a Sunday to avoid weekday traffic, so we didn't get a narrated tour.  But, like other capitols, the building was wide open, although you did have to go through a security checkpoint to get it. Unfortunately, the front door was barricaded for safety reasons (falling limestone) and there was no indication of where you could enter.  This resulted in us walking around the entire building before we even got started touring the six floors!  If you want to see a professional video presentation of the interior, follow this link and look for the External Video heading (right side of page, about 2 1/2 pages down).  Otherwise, enjoy these pictures...

The Guardian by Enoch Kelly Haney
The Guardian by Enoch Kelly Haney adorns the top of the dome

Oklahomans are not afraid to profess their love of God in public spaces

Ceiling detail, House of Representatives

Ceiling detail, Senate
Stained glass ceilings everywhere!

Entrance to the House
Governor's office

Hall of Governors

Lt. Governor's office

Senator's offices.  As detailed and beautiful as the public areas of the capitol are, the working areas not so much!

Looking up at the dome

Senate chambers
House chambers

Of course, the capitol building itself is beautiful, as befits the most important structure in a state.  But what struck me in this particular capitol was the beautiful original art that was everywhere.  Here are some of my favorites - I hope you enjoy them.
Oklahoma Black Gold by Jeff Gold

Beyond the Centennial by Carlos Tello
Every archway had a mural like these two above.

Arcadia Round Up by Linda Tuma Robertson 
We saw the actual barn on our Rt 66 drive. 

Steamboats on the Red River by Mike Wimmer

Desert Dancer by Laurie Spencer

Current governor, the first female governor in Oklahoma's history

Of course, there are more paintings and sculptures, too many to take pictures of.  But the Oklahoma Arts Council has a very good website that details all the art contained in the building, if you're interested and want to see more.

Lots of notable people are from Oklahoma and they are all represented by original artwork, some larger than life.  Included were Mickey Mantle, Sam Walton, Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie and Jim Thorpe.  Note: these are just the one with which I was familiar.  Others I found interesting were:

Pawnee Bill by Tracey Harris

Lily May, Pawnee Bill's wife
Pawnee Bill originally came to Oklahoma to interpret for and teach the Pawnee Indians and later opened his own Wild West Show.  His wife, Lily May, became know in her own right for her horsemanship skills.

Lucille Mulhall by Tracey Harris
Lucille was dubbed "the World's First Cowgirl" by Will Rogers.

Sequoyah by Charles Banks Wilson
Unable to read or write in English, Sequoyah developed the written characters for the Cherokee language.  Within months, the Cherokee Nation could read and write in their own language for the first time.

Of course, there was much, much more to be seen and learned, but I hope this post will maybe whet your appetite for a road trip to the great state of Oklahoma to see the capitol for yourself.  

Until next time...

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