Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Columbus - Ohio Capitol

We wanted to tour the Ohio capitol and find a place near Columbus to sit out Memorial Day weekend after our visit.  We ended up at the Lancaster Methodist Camp Ground in nearby Lancaster.  The RV park was an addition to the historic church camp that once had 400 cottages.  Today there are 240 with more than 100 permanently occupied.  It is now a National Historic site that includes a large auditorium, hotel, museum and grocery store.  It was all very neat but I failed to take any pictures.  Here is a link to the history of the camp.  
This is our 18th capitol tour and one of the most informative.  They provide audio tour wands and a booklet so you can tour at your own pace.  Construction of the building began in 1836 and was not completed until 1861.  It is a fine example of the Greek Revival style and has a cupola rather than a dome.  
In the rotunda there is an inside dome.  All the domed buildings we have toured have an inside dome that is separate from the outside dome.  The outside cupola gives this capitol its unique look. 
The map with the 88 Ohio counties has six different types of marble.  It is a great education tool for touring school groups.  
In the Map Room these two relief sculptures depict the difference between what would have been a modern classroom of the 19th and 20th centuries.
We were surprised to see the recently completed statue of Ohioan Thomas Edison.  The statue will be placed in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol as one of Ohio's two allowed per state after funds are raised to move it.  The reason we were happy to see it is because we know the sculpture Alan Cottrill who once lived in WashPA.  I coached and taught his daughters Sarah and Emily. 
The George Washington Williams Memorial Room honors the first African-American state legislator in Ohio.  Williams, a Civil War veteran and ordained minister, was elected to the House in 1880.
The ladies' gallery honors the first six women elected to the legislature.  There are displays about women's struggles to achieve the vote and equal rights.
There are several paintings throughout the capitol.  These two depict Ohioans Thomas Edison and Wilbur and Orville Wright.
The marble floor of the rotunda symbolizes the history of the country in 1858 when it was designed.  At the center the 13 stones represent the original 13 states, the three bands represent land acquired through expansion and the 32 point star burst the number of  states at that time.  The final band holding it all together represents the U. S. Constitution.  The painting is Perry's Victory on Lake Erie.   
The Ohio Senate has 33 members.  Unlike most legislative chambers there is no public gallery overlooking the floor.  Here the public seating is on the same floor of the chamber as the senators' desks.  The desks are modern reproductions of the originals that are wired for current technology.   
The House is the same size as the Senate.  It has 99 members and was too small for spectators so a public gallery was added.  The painting behind the dais is an example of  a trompe l'oeil, French for "fool the eye".  It appears to be three-dimensional, but is only two-dimensional.
The 1892 statue of Christopher Columbus was done to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city's namesake's voyage to the Americas.
The Ohio Veterans Plaza honors those who served since WWII.  The flags represent Ohio's 88 counties.  On the walls at each end are letters written from the battlefields to family back home.  Many of them are very touching.
Never Again is the theme of the Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial that was dedicated in 2014.  The memorial is inscribed with the words of the Talmud, "If you save one life, it is as if you saved the world."
The McKinley Monument honors former Ohio governor and U.S. president William McKinley who was assassinated in 1901. 
These Are My Jewels, the oldest monument on the grounds was originally designed and displayed for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.  It honors seven Ohioans: Secretaries Stanton and Chase; Presidents Garfield, Hayes and Grant; Generals Sherman and Sheridan.  The female figure is Cornelia.
The Peace Monument, erected in 1923, commemorates those Ohioans who served during the Civil War.

The Ohio capitol is a very interesting building and well worth a visit.  One difference is that the capitol, which was the tallest building in the city when it was built, is now looked down upon by many skyscrapers in the middle of a very large city.  This is a much different setting than other capitols we have toured.


Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

A Capital post!

Jan Mains said...

We thought of you today as we drove through Little Washington on our way to Weirton. Found a park for $400 a month but since we are only staying 12 days, he charged us $180.