Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jackson & Mississippi State Capitol

We did not have state capitol building tours on our to do list when we started on the road eight years ago, but after visiting a couple we have found that each one gives a unique look at the state's history. So this summer as we travel across the Southeast we have capitol tours as one of our goals.  Our first one was the Mississippi capitol in Jackson.  I will be adding a U.S. State Capitol Buildings label to find older posts covering capitols we have visited.  
Well, as you can see, the building is undergoing a major renovation.  
The domes over the rotunda and legislative wings are surrounded by scaffolding. 
Here is a picture I found on line.  Like so many state capitols, the design is Beaux Arts style that was popular when it was built in the early 1900's.  Like the United States Capitol, the capitol has a domed covered rotunda and two wings to house the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers.
One thing that really stands out in this capitol is the lighting.  The windows, skylights and 4,750 light bulbs, a new technology when the building was designed, all illuminate the interior.  Even with some of the glass covered for the renovation you still can see how the light highlights the interior.  This is looking up at the inside dome over the rotunda. 
The mahogany podium of the Senate chamber.  Mississippi has 52 senators.
The skylight dome over the Senate chamber.  Around the center of the dome is the inscription "The people's government - made for the people - made by the people - and answerable to the people."
Another common feature of the Beaux Arts style is the grand staircase that rises from the second (main) floor to the fourth.  On the landing there are three stained glass windows, but this one, the Pioneer Settler, was the only one in place because of the renovation. 
The background of the collage is the glass cylinder floor on the fourth floor that allows light to shine through the stained glass ceilings below.  Top is a relief of blind Lady Justice and an ornate capital of the columns that support the dome.  Bottom are ornate supports under the House gallery.  The first floor Hall of Governors has portraits of all the governors in the order of their service.  I found this one of  Adelbert Ames interesting as he was an Army officer from Maine who served a year as governor during Reconstruction after the Civil War.
The House of Representatives chamber for the 122 members.
The skylight over the House chamber with stained glass and light bulbs on the ribs.  The Mississippi capitol is a beautiful building that we may have to return to see after the renovation is complete.
Down the street is the old capitol that is the oldest building in Jackson.  It was constructed in 1839 and was Mississippi's first permanent state house.  It was abandoned after the new capitol was built then later was used as an office building.  It was renovated after being badly damaged in 2005 by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and is now a museum
The Mississippi War Memorial is on the grounds near the old capitol.
The relief on the front of the war memorial starts with fighting soldiers on the left and ends with the weapons being turned into plowshares.  A hopeful, but doubtful ideal.
The Mississippi Supreme Court building is also part of the government complex.
The governor's mansion in downtown Jackson.
Also in Jackson is the home of Pulitzer Prize winning author Eudora Welty.  The home is now open for tours, but we were there on Monday and it was closed as were the other 
buildings except the capitol.
We enjoyed our time in Jackson and found a very good restaurant, Manship Woodfired Grill, that is worth a stop for pizza and a brew.

1 comment:

Jan Mains said...

Love state capital tours. Great history and knowledge of the state and you can't beat free.