This morning, Joe and Jeanne joined Debbie and I for a trip to Lansing to visit Michigan’s State Capitol (our sixteenth this far).
The first state capitol was located in Detroit, the original capital of Michigan, and was relocated to Lansing in 1847, due to the need to develop the western portions of the state and for easy defense from British troops stationed in Windsor, Ontario. The present capitol building, preceded by a temporary wood frame structure, was dedicated in January 1879, and is designed in a Neo-classical style, more specifically the Italianate style.
The Michigan State Capitol is 267 feet from the ground to the tip of finial/spire above the dome.The building is 420 feet and two inches long and 273 feet and 11 inches wide. The capitol occupies 1.16 acres, has a perimeter of 1,520 feet. There are four stories in the building, with public entrances on the ground floor. Two grand staircases in the north and south corridors go up to the top floor. The rotunda measures 44.5 feet in diameter and 160 feet in height measured from the floor to the oculus or circular opening in the center of a dome.
Completed in 1879, it was designed by Elijah E. Myers, who also designed the state capitol buildings in Texas, Idaho, Utah and Colorado.
In the center of the building’s rotunda is a 44½’ glass-tiled floor made up of 976 pieces of glass, each about 5/8” thick. It creates an optical illusion when seen from above. The higher one gets above the floor, the more the floor appears to be a bowl.
Twenty chandeliers light the capitol’s main corridors. Originally lit by gas (the building was dedicated on the same day Thomas Edison made his first public demonstration of electric lights) they are ornamented with an elk and shield from the state’s coat-of-arms.
Even the stairways are interesting … with painting above each
Original Supreme Court Chamber
The grounds around the State Capitol have far fewer statues that surround most state capitol complexes. However, there are several memorializing Michigan veterans from the Civil War through VietNam.
There is also a statue of former Austin Blair, Governor of Michigan during the Civil War … when Michigan sent a higher percentage (25%) of its men to fight than any other state.
There are also two Catawba trees, one of which is believed to have been planted before construction began and is thus more than 140 years old.
leaving Lansing, we located the World’s Largest Lugnut.
When Lansing acquired a minor league baseball team in 1995, there was much ado about what to name it, especially when the team announced that it would be calling itself the Lansing Lugnuts. The people of Lansing went into a furor, but the team refused to budge. It had successfully pleaded with the Hasbro toy company to give up the Lugnut trademark it had reserved for a future toy design, and the team was sticking with the name it had won. Eventually the furor tuned into equally heartfelt support. “Let’s Go Nuts!” is the town’s favorite cheer. Although the team inexplicably chose to display a large bolt as its insignia, a factory about a block south of Oldmobile Park Stadium erected the World’s Largest Lugnut on its smokestack so that fans could have a clear image of what their team is really all about. Its silver gleam can be seen from the stadium, with the best close-up viewing at the corner of Larch and Michigan.
Back at our campground and shortly after a brief downpour, lo and behold, there was a hot air balloon drifting by a fading rainbow.
Then, we were treated to another incredible sunset across the lake across from where we are parked.