Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mississippi State Capitol - New and Old

Did you know that Mississippi has two state capitol buildings?  On our way out of the state, we  took a route that would allow us to stop in Jackson, the state capitol.  Our only agenda was to tour the Capitol building, but upon learning there were two, made time to get a glimpse at both of them.

The Mississippi State Capitol is not filled with art as so many are.  It does not need it, as the building is art itself.  Completed in 1903, it was built with funds awarded to the State of Mississippi from a lawsuit against the Illinois Central Railroad for back taxes.

As you can see, the exterior is undergoing some maintenance

This statue, called The Women of the Confederacy, is inscribed on all four sides to mothers, sisters, daughters and wives.

The interior uses Italian marble, man-made art marble called scagliola, Tennessee pink marble, Knoxville marble, and Belgian black marble, just to name a few of the finishes.   Rather than try to describe it, I think I'll just let you look at the pictures.
Images from the Mississippi State Capitol

Each door has one of these plates

Elevators date to 1903

Glass cylinders in the floor are designed to allow light to pass through and illuminate the stained glass panels in the ceiling of the floor below.

Reproduction of original floor including the swastika design to convey good fortune.

Antique water fountain, located in several places on all floors

Again, the pictures I take do not do this beautiful building justice, but I've seen a number of state capitols and this one absolutely took my breath away with its built-in beauty.

The Old State Capitol Museum was another story.  Due to decades of neglect and Hurricane Katrina, almost nothing is original to this building.  They have done an amazing job, though, of recreation and the lack of decoration was probably due to the times in which it was originally built.

Front of the Old State Capitol.  Although it looks like marble or limestone on the exterior, it's actually a brick building covered in stucco and scored to look like block.

Rear of Old State Capitol.  When originally built, the rear of the building faced a swamp and it was deemed not important enough to be faced.  The rebuilding and restoration returned it to its original look.

The interior, while very nice, is extremely plain compared to today's capitol.

Door detail

Door knobs

View from the front door

A look at the rotunda

Spiral staircases on both sides of the front entry

A good job was done of staging the House of Representatives, Senate, Governor's Office and Library.

Governor's office

House of Representatives

The Library


And the grounds contained another monument to the Confederacy, erected in 1871.
Confederate Monument


Not too many cities can boast two state capitols just blocks from each other.  It is a well done museum which documents the history of Mississippi very well, with interactive displays and some original artifacts and was worth the time we spent there.

Until next time...

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