. . . and what a beautiful place. The gorgeous grounds, stately building, friendly staffing and exquisite interior all contributed to a wonderful and memorable experience.
The scale of it all is quite remarkable as when you look up close there is actually a person on the front steps getting the columns all decked out for Christmas. The front entrance doors are made of bronze, were highly polished, and flanked by huge columns. The doors themselves are 10 feet tall, four inches thick and were purchased from Tiffany’s in New York for $10,000. They are truly spectacular.
I did a little research on this building . . . it was designed by St. Louis architect George R. Mann. Drawings were presented in 1899 and construction took 16 years with completion being in 1915. It was built on the site of the State Penitentiary and prisoners helped with the construction. The exterior is made of limestone which was quarried at Batesville, Arkansas. Construction costs came in at $2.2 million dollars and today’s value is $320 million.
We were warmly met by the guards and given a great Arkansas welcome. Upon walking into the interior I just said WOW . . .. the marble and design reminded me of European palaces. We spent quite awhile there and just soaked in the ambiance. It was truly breathtaking and one of the nicest Capitol buildings we visited during our journey. The light changed many times when we were there and thus the colouration of the marble is different depending upon what angle I was shooting from.
There were three levels of marble staircases with a huge dome over the top letting in light all the way to the entrance level. Everyone in the building who came in contact with us, stopped and asked if there was anything they could help us find. We indicated that we were visitors from Canada and that we and my camera were enjoying the scenery immensely. Kudos to everyone for being so friendly and helpful.