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Kentucky State Capitol - Frankfort,KY
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member BluegrassCache
N 38° 11.273 W 084° 52.477
16S E 686136 N 4228796
Quick Description: What is the capital of Kentucky? Lexington or Louisville? Neither. The answer is Frankfort, Kentucky. Located between Louisville and Lexington near the Kentucky River is the Kentucky State Capitol Building, begun in 1906.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 9/29/2007 8:47:55 PM
Waymark Code: WM29Z1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member SCOTUS
Views: 254

Long Description:
The Kentucky State Capitol Building is situated near the Kentucky River and with the hills and cliffs in the surrounding area you can easily miss the building unless you are at a good lookout point or are right up on it.

In 1839, a fountain was installed. In 1854, by an act of the Governor and Secretary of State, the grounds were enclosed with an iron fence to deter stray dogs, horses, cows and hogs from wandering up the Capitol steps.

The Capitol Building is influenced from important places of history and architecture from all over the world.Architect Andrews design was reminiscent of the massive buildings and palaces found in France. The exterior of the building boasts four porticos created by seventy Ionic columns, each weighing approximately eighteen tons, being 27' 10" high. The pediment, designed by C.H. Niehous and sculpted by Austrian P. Rossak and costing $40,000.00, depicts Lady Kentucky surrounded by "Progress," "Plenty," "Art," and "Agriculture." Materials used for the building include limestone from Bedford, Indiana and Vermont granite.

Thirty-six granite columns, 26 feet tall and weighing 10 tons a piece, adorn the capitol's nave. Marble stairways, banisters, and balustrades at either end imitate the staircases of the Grand Opera House in Paris. Walls and staircases are white Georgia marble; the floors of light Tennessee marble and black Italian marble. The official State Reception Room was patterned after Marie Antoinette's drawing room in the Grand Trianon Palace at Versailles. The walls are painted to duplicate the tapestries in the French palace. Also, mirrors flanking either end of the room reflect the ceiling chandeliers, creating a "Hall-of-Mirrors" effect, a well-known feature of Versailles. The capitol rotunda, which is topped by a massive 190' dome is copied from the one over Napoleon's tomb in the Hotel des Invalides in Paris.


Beneath the dome in the rotunda, stands a larger than life-size statue of Abraham Lincoln, towering 14' tall, surrounded by sculptures of Jefferson Davis, Henry Clay, Alben Barkley and Dr. Ephraim McDowell. (Tradition holds that rubbing the boot of the Lincoln statue will bring a visitor luck.) Lunettes of the nave are decorated with oil paintings: the east mural depicts Daniel Boone and his men seeing the Bluegrass for the first time from a Pilot Knob in Powell County; the west mural shows Boone and the Transylvania Co. negotiating with the Cherokee Indians for the land known as "Kentucky."

In 1955, the Capitol was renovated at a cost of $2,500,000.00 and rededicated. The wiring, adequate in 1910 but inadequate as government workers relied more and more on electronic office equipment, was ripped out and new facilities were installed. Also installed were new plumbing, heating, and - unheard of in the early 1900's - air conditioning.


In 1996, the exterior of the Capitol was repaired with $1,800,000.00 allocated by Governor Paul Patton. Cracks in the structure at the top of the Capitol dome, also called the lantern, caused water to seep beneath the terra cotta tiles covering the steal beams that support the weight. Tiles covering the dome were replaced or repaired.

Also repaired were the art glass skylights in the Great Hall, which were buckling in their lead frames due to water damage and lack of support. Over the years, make-shift solutions to the problems only caused more damage: metal rods supporting the windows were improperly replaced or left unconnected. Pieces of glass were replaced and the windows were cleaned, then the metal supports were repaired or replaced. The renovation cost $400,000.00.

Near the Capitol Building is the only home in the state designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Type of Capitol: State, Province, Canton, or Other Primary Division of a Nation

Address:
700 Capital Avenue
Frankfort, KY United States
40601


Dates of Construction: 1906-1910

Major Renovations: 1955, 1996

Hours: Guided Tours only - last at 3:30

Capitol Web Site: [Web Link]

Historical Monuments/Memorials:
A larger than life-size statue of Abraham Lincoln (born in Kentucky), towering 14' tall, surrounded by sculptures of Jefferson Davis, Henry Clay, Alben Barkley and Dr. Ephraim McDowell. (Tradition holds that rubbing the boot of the Lincoln statue will bring a visitor luck.) Lunettes of the nave are decorated with oil paintings: the east mural depicts Daniel Boone and his men seeing the Bluegrass for the first time from a Pilot Knob in Powell County; the west mural shows Boone and the Transylvania Co. negotiating with the Cherokee Indians for the land known as "Kentucky."


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