May 1 (Morning) – Georgia’s State Capitol

This morning, we took the drive into Atlanta to tour the Georiga State Capitol.  Although we'd been told guided tours were cancelled and that self-guided tours might be problematic … no reason given…  we arrived and discovered the reason for the changes.  It seems that most of the publc areas  were being "decorated" for shooting of an upcoming episode of "The Walking Dead".

So, we decided to make the best of a self-guided tour of as much of the Capitol as we could access.

Lady Freedom (22.5 feet high and weighing 1,250 lbs)

Atlanta is the fifth permanent capital city of Georgia.  Savannah, site of James Oglethorpe's February 1733 landing was the first.  After the Revolutionary War, The General Assembly met alternately in Savannah and Augusta.  As development contiued westward, the capital moved to Augusta in 1786, to Louisville in 1796, to Milledgeville in 1807 and finally to Atlanta in 1868.

Like many U.S. State Capitols, the Georgia State Capitol is designed to resemble the Neoclassical architectural style of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.  The Capitol faces west on Washington Street.

The facade features a four-story portico,

with stone pediment,

supported by six Corinthian columns set on large stone piers. Georgia's coat-of-arms, with two figures on each side, is carved on the pediment.

Exterior limestone

The Capitol's interior represents the 19th century style of its time. It was among the earliest buildings to have elevators, centralized steam heat, and combinationg gas and electric lights. Classical pilasters and oak paneling and doors are used throughout the building.

The floors of the interior are marble from Pickens County, which still produces marble today.

The open central rotunda is flanked by two wings, each with a grand staircase

and three-story atrium crowned by clerestory windows. The Capitol building has undergone frequent revnovations to adapt to the growth and change of government. Originally constructed from terra cotta and covered with tin, in a 1958 renovation the present dome was gilded with native golf-leaf from near Dahlonega in Lumpkin County, where the "First American gold rush" occurred during the 1830s.  For this reason, legislative business is often referred to as what is happening "under the Gold Dome" by media across the state.

House Chamber

Senate Chamber

Lighting fixtures throughout the capitol are electric reporductions of  the original oil lamps.

The open rotunda soars to a height of 237 feet and is 75 feet in diameter.

Below are various columns with unique capstones.

Various statues and busts augments a museum of Georgia histroy concentrated on the 4th floor.

Gold telephone from AT&T on the installation of their one hundred millionth phone – one given to each state governor and the president

Jimmy Carter Governor's campaign lunchbox

Two-headed cow

Bust of James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia

Bust of Juliette Gordon Low – founder of the Girl Scouts of American

Mississippiam Chief – Powerful chiefs of the Mississippiam culture (AD 1050 – 1500) once governed large section of what is now the state of Georiga from ceremonial mound centers such as Etowah and Macon Plateau.  Their dress symbolized their power and showed their control over resources coming from far and near.  Painted tattooed designs on their bodies were marks of distinciton of social standing.

 

In the Governor's outer office sits a unique Western & Atlantic Railroad clock

Helen Longstreet, the first woman to work in the Georgai State Capitol as the Assistant State Librarian

In keeping with the theme of displaying the best of Georgia, the Capitol grounds are landscaped with specimens of native Georgia flora, including elms, oaks and magnolias, interspersed with bronze statuary of notable Georgia statesmen and other markers of historical interest.  Well maintained lawns and walkways add to the stateliness of the setting..

Repliaca of the LIberty Bell

The names of Georgia's three signors of the Declaration of Independence

Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

 

Governor and President James Earl Carter

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Governor and U.S. Senator Richard Russell

Qutoe from Senator Russell …. which everyone should take to heart!

      Georgia Zero Mile Marker

Repllica of the Statue of Liberty

Governor Eugene Talmudge

Joseph Emerson Brown

General and Governor Gordon

Governor Ellis Gibbs Arnall

Expelled Because of Color

Dedicated to thememory of the 33 black state legilators who were elected, yet expelled from the Georgia House because of their color in 1868. 

 

As we circled the Capitol, we noticed several interesting church spiers

and the archetecture of municipal commercial buildings.

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