It’s not my intention to do a series of capitol buildings. I just might seem that way lately (check out my US Capitol post from a few weeks ago).
But in the dozen years I’ve been here in Colorado (aka the Centennial State) and near its capital city, Denver, I’ve never been to the building where state legislative business takes place…until just recently.
RAS and I get together every so often for lunch in downtown, where he works for the City and County of Denver. In the summertime, about two dozen food trucks from all over the city gather at Civic Center Park at midday. Earlier this month, after we had our portable meal here (I highly recommend Quiero Arepas if you should make it to this moveable food court), he suggested we take a look at the Capitol.
For about a year, they covered the gold-leaf-topped rotunda in scaffolding and scrim to clean it up and make it shiny again. Construction crews completed the $17 million project recently, and it does look spiffy. The entire rose-onyx building appears as stately as ever.
We only dropped in a few minutes (after all, it was RAS lunchtime), but I saw enough to encourage a repeat visit.
Here are the steps on the west side of the building, marking a mile high above sea level. But it’s not. Thanks to primitive and faulty estimation methods from the early twentieth century, the true 5,280 foot elevation is two steps below.
The inside has murals depicting the story of the state:
The rotunda’s cover was once made of copper, but because of oxidation problems, gold replaced it. The gold covering has been replaced four times since its opening in 1894. It holds an observation deck which closed for the last eight years, due to a piece of steel falling on it. The new renovation has fixed that problem as well.
Colorado’s state flag is pretty basic – three vertical lines, two blue, one white, representing blue skies and sun on the mountains. The “C” on the left is red and yellow, signifying the red cliffs and rocks found around the state and the sunshine and gold once found in the mountains.
Directly across the way from the Capitol is Denver’s city hall, the City and County Building, and Civic Center Park:
If you stop here in town, the Capitol Building is definitely worth a look.