As an early morning fog slowly lifted from the soy fields beside our campsite
It is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture; a type of design based on the buildings of Ancient Greece and very popular in the U.S. from 1820 through the early 1860s. Because the city-states of Ancient Greece were the birthplace of democracy, the style had great meaning in the young American republic. Greek Revival was simple and straightforward and looked nothing at all like the Gothic Revival buildings popular in Europe at the same period … and thus the lack of a towering dome so common on most other state capitol buildings. The broad horizontal mass of the building and the even and regular rows of columns resemble such buildings as the Parthenon in Athens.
The grounds of the 10 acre site, as with most state capitols, are host to a number of statues and other relics of bygone eras. The most prominent is the William McKinley Monument, erected in 1906 to honor the former Governor and US President.
There are also two sundials
The Christopher Columbus Discovery Monument
Four cannons – two 6-pounders and two 12-pounders
The Peace Monument, dedicated to the men and women who served the country in various capacities during the Civil War.
identical other than for the panels, each of which is a reproduced letter to or from Ohio service men and women (note that the letters “KIA” after a writer’s name indicates they were killed in action). Approaching the entrance to the capitol building, you walk across the Ohio’s “original” state seal and motto.
The Capitol’s cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1839 but it took until 1861 for it to be completed. Political differences, financial shortfalls, a cholera epidemic and serious labor difficulties caused delays, some lasting up to eight years. Prison labor (each prisoner wore a 20 lb. ball and chain around their ankle while working) from the Ohio Penitentiary was used to construct the foundation and ground floors of the building. Objections from skilled tradesman, who felt they were losing out on good-paying jobs, brought about changes in hiring practices for the remainder of the construction.
The Rotund, under which many governors have been inaugurated and where President Lincoln’s body lay in state enroute from Washington, DC to Springfield, IL, features a 29 foot diameter dome which soars 120 feet high under the cupola.
The floor under the dome is made up of 5,000 pieces of hand-cut marble from around the world, salmon stones from Portugal, black and green marble from Vermont and white marble from Italy
The Senate Chamber
A Few Anecdotes
Flowers can be seen in the carpeting of the house and Senate Chambers and elsewhere throughout the building. This flower motif symbolized American’s natural abundance and American life and democracy
Several very large paintings hang next to the stairways.
Indoor plumbing was an innovation when the Ohio State House was built. Since women were not part of the legislative process at the time, women’s restrooms were not part of the design. In 1876, more restrooms were added near the House Chamber but the sewer vent was accidentally connected to the building’s ventilation ducts and for the next eight years, the air in the State House was unpleasantly odoriferous.
In to the 20th Century, it became apparent that the State House was too small for the growth of stage government. Not only was the Supreme Court moved to a separate building (common in most states) but a separate (Senate Annex) building as built from300-milliion year old Ohioan limestone beside the Capitol, although leaving an open air area between them . Before the area was covered over and an enclosed atrium was created the area was known as “Pigeon Run” after the pigeons who gathered on the roof tops, often making the trip between the buildings a challenge. To memorialize those days, a single pigeon sits permanently high in today’s atrium.
After eating our “brown bagged” lunch (actually a blue Igloo cooler) we drove the Franklin Park Conservatory. While the conservatory was, at best, “so-so” and really not with the admission price. Also, while a dozens of Chihuly’s glass sculptures were dramatic,
However, the butterfly exhibit was excellent! Some of the many species (working on identifying all of them) we saw, often up-close-and-personal, included: