Sunday, December 18, 2011

Utah State Capitol

 Last Sunday morning after we went to an interesting church, we were headed to the Hogle Zoo. I said, "Let's go by the Capitol." I was driving, so that's where we went. We found plentiful parking, so we hopped out and started roaming the capitol grounds.My husband was out looking at some auction stuff, so I figured we had a little free time. And I couldn't resist testing out my new camera some more. (Have I mentioned how much I like my new camera?)

 The architecture is beautiful. The Capitol was designed in 1912 by Richard K. A. Kletting and completed in 1916. Everything looks so stately, and we had it pretty much to ourselves.

 I was enjoying the great lighting and snapping way too many photos. This post is a wee bit on the long side. A wee bit.
 The kids were game for going up all those steps. Desert Girl wanted to do them all, so this was a good way to work off some extra energy.
 I noted the beehives--the symbol of the state of Utah. It truly is an industrious state, with lots of bees helping to keep the hive healthy.
 The stairs go on and on. Desert Boy has made it to the top.
 We found beautiful doors and light fixtures.
 Then we turned around and saw the inversion over the city. They chose well to put the Capitol on a hill.

 A red coat for Desert Boy was a good choice--I can always find him.

 Then it was time to go down the stairs.
 Underneath the stairs we found a gate open and couldn't resist checking it out. There were some doors to the building and I tried one and it was open!
 We went inside, finding all the lights on. No one else was in sight. We felt like we were intruding, but Desert Girl made plenty of noise and no one came running.  We figured out that the Capitol was indeed open for folks to tour (and it was--it's open seven days a week except for some holidays).

 I made a stop in the bathroom and was intrigued by the granite changing table. Not sure I've ever seen one of those before.

 The place is wonderful for photography. In fact, if you're doing professional photography you have to get a permit. I'm definitely an amateur, so I had the kids sit on the stairs. Above them is the Supreme Court (mostly for show, they now conduct most of their business in the Scott M. Matheson courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City). The lunette above the doors was painted by Gerard Hale and Gilbert White and is titled Reclaiming the Desert by Irrigation.  (I only know this because they have self tour brochures and I brought one home.)
 Cute kids!
 We admired the tall rotunda. The interior dome is 165 feet at its highest point.

 Twelve murals adorn the walls in the rotunda, including four in the pendentives, or arched triangles leading up to the dome. (That was a new word for me, how about for you?) These were funded by the Public Works of Art Program, a federal relief program formed to provide work for unemployed artists during the Great Depression. The one above is titled Brigham Young and Pioneers Entering the Valley.

 Father Escalante Discovers Utah Lake 1776.

Fremont First Sees Great Salt Lake - 1843

 Then we looked toward the west side, with the matching grand staircase. It leads up to the House Chamber, and the lunette above it is The Arrival of the Pioneers in the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

 We climbed up those stairs, enjoying our self tour and feeling very lucky to still have the entire building to ourselves. We wandered around the third floor a bit and then found stairs up to the fourth floor.

 I enjoyed this light fixture.

 Then it was time to start heading down.

 The telephoto lens made it easy to get some candids.

 On the way out I saw this lion and liked it. Even larger lions reside outside the west and east entrances, but we missed those. I feel like we just skimmed the surface of this wonderful building. Guided tours of the Utah State Capitol are given weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and we'll have to return sometime to take one.

 Desert Girl really liked hanging out with Uncle Ed.

I'm not sure what they were talking about--maybe the next adventure?

1 comment:

Desertson said...

The capitol building is definitely a beautiful and imposing structure.
Nice pictures.

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