August 21, 2013 – Colorado State Capitol Building and Colorado History Museum

We took the Rapid Light Rail

to downtown Denver where we took the FREE Mall Bus to the end of its 16th Street route.

Walking a few blocks to a towering building which we thought was the Colorado State House.

However, we soon discovered this was Denver’s City Hall … located about ¼ mile from the State House,

Scale model at the State House Museum

at the far end of a concrete,

lawn and garden mall with several interesting sculptures

 and statues

Bronco Buster

On the War Trail

Replica of the Liberty Bell

as well as some wildlife.

Arriving at the Capitol

We were disappointed that the dome was wrapped in tarps as it was undergoing major repairs and not due for completion for another year.  I was, however, able to locate a picture of the gold-gilded dome.

The building’s construction lasted 15 years and was not completed until 1901.  The building Committee decided to use as much material as possible from Colorado in the construction of the new Capitol and chose granite from Gunnison for the outer walls, sandstone from Fort Collins for the foundations, marble from the town of Marble for the floors and rose onyx from Beulah for the wainscoting.

The State House did not disappoint.

Main Rotunda Dome

Governor’s Reception Corridor

Ceiling, Columns and Capitols in the Governor’s Reception Corridor

Rose Onyx Bases to Columns

Rose Onyx wainscoting, found nowhere else in the world took seven years to install … in which people often see designs and faces.
Can you see George Washington?

Stairway to Second Floor

65-Seat House Chamber

35-seat Senate Chamber

Stain Glass Windows

Portraits of each of the Country’s Presidents (three of my favorites in this panel … John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison)

Grand Staircase, adorned with oak leaves and acorns cast in brass. The marble staircase consists of 57 steps and 176 brass balusters.

View from the third floor

Murals in the first floor rotunda walls, completed in 1940. They story of the importance of water in Colorado are told in pictures and verse.

Flag quilt, part of an annual quilt competition. Note the eagle embossed on the second white stripe from the right

 

This nine-foot by twelve-foot tapestry that hangs in the capitol honors the women who were integral in the settlement and development of Colorado. The tapestry was made to commemorate the state’s centennial and the country’s bicentennial in 1976. The title “Women’s Gold” alludes to the yellow roses found in the mining camps. The words on the parameter of the tapestry are America the Beautiful written over a century ago by Kathryn Lee Bates after her visit to the top of Pikes Peak. This massive project that incorporated hand-stitched embroidery and appliqué on Irish linen, took 4,500 hours to complete, 1,600 expert artisans, 1,800 amateurs, and imported skilled artisans from thirty-eight states and nine countries.

From there we walked several blocks to the

Formerly the Colorado History Museum

Before entering, there are several statues

On the Wind

Emily Griffiths

Among the many exhibits was one telling the story of Keota, Colorado, a town which burst on the scene in the wake of the Homestead Act of 1862 and almost faded back into history during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

There was also the tribute to former Governor Ralph L, Carr. 

Not influenced by the hysteria and bigotry in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, by his humanitarian efforts no Colorado resident of Japanese ancestry was deprived of his or her basic freedoms, and when no others would accept evacuated West Coast Japanese, except for confinement in internment camps, Governor Carr opened the doors and welcomed them into Colorado.  His courageous actions cost him his political career.  If only he could be held up as a model for today’s politicians who are more concerned with re-election and partisan political politics than acting within the spirit of the American ideal.

What was most moving and most interesting, however, was the

This dramatic exhibition captures the essence of American soldiering over more than 150 years, since the very birth of photography. Some 116 large-scale images show America at war—from the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam to the Gulf War, Afghanistan and the streets of Baghdad. The exhibition captures the danger and frustration, the humor and beauty, the camaraderie, tragedy and victory that American soldiers have witnessed in their odyssey through history.

We respected the “No Photographs” request.   The following were taken from the Internet and provide just a sampling of these moving images.

Civil War

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

 

Korea

Vietnam

Gulf War

Iraqi Freedom

Afghanistan

Next, lunch along the walking Mall at

 

With its interestingbar and wine storage case.

From there, Debbie and I left the group for a while to walk the Mall and adjacent streets to view people

decorated pianos, similar to those we’d seen along the walking mall in Fort Collins

flowers lining city streets,

wall murals,

Teddy Roosevelt and Jack Dempsey

and the curious architecture of the area. We caught up with our friends at the Peak Lounge atop the Hyatt Hotel

where we watched thunderstorms approach from the Rockies to the west.

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