Capitol AppreciationWestward Ho, Day 37: Redding, CA, to Sacramento, CA
Since California is the nation's most populous state and its capital is a major city, we were quite curious as we drove toward Sacramento this morning. What should we expect of a statehouse in an urban area with a population of 2.5 million? We definitely anticipated an experience more like Washington, DC than Oregon. We were wrong.
|California State Capitol|
The next place where we expected to feel the urban vibe was in the security screening to enter the building. Again, we were off the mark. A couple of friendly security guards were manning a simple walk-through metal detector and x-ray machine. It was a low-key event.
After California was admitted to statehood in 1850, a number of towns vied for the honor of becoming the state capital. Since California had never been an organized U.S. territory, there was no territorial capital to be an obvious choice. For several years, the seat of government moved about as several cities were 'auditioned,' including San Jose, Vallejo, Benecia, and Sacramento. In the end, Sacramento was chosen because of its location and size. Recurring efforts to move the capital to San Jose or the Bay Area continued after a series of floods and fires devastated Sacramento, but the city's undaunted officials and citizenry fended off the political scheming to move the capital again by donating four blocks of prime real estate for construction of a permanent capitol building.
|Interior of the lower dome|
|Chamber of the State Assembly (lower house)|
|Governor's private office as it appeared in 1906 (with electrical power for desk lamp coming from overhead light fixture)|
|Tile floor on first floor has the look of carpet but with much greater durability.|
California Capitol Stats:
- Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
- Height (to tip of dome): 242 ft.
- Dome surface: copper
- Built: 1860-1874
- Original Cost: $3 million
- Renovation: 1974-1982
- Renovation cost: $68 million
- Sacramento population: 472,178
More Photos from Today
|Holiday decorations at the Capitol|
|One of eight Corinthian columns supporting the portico|
|Gas light fixtures converted to electricity in 1906|
|The stately portico|
|Some tourists from Georgia|
|Mount Shasta visible in the haze|