Saturday, July 15, 2017

Indy - Capitol, Library and 500 Museum

Because of the unknowns of having the slide repaired, we did not have reservations for over the Fourth of July, which can be a real problem for fulltimers. We wanted to spend a week in Indianapolis at the state fairgrounds. Turned out we could get in there for five days but had to leave on the fourth. That worked for us but changed our future plans. After leaving Indy we spent two days in Louisville and added a four day visit to Nashville.
The current capitol of Indiana, the second in Indianapolis, was built starting in 1880. It was completed in 1888 at a cost of nearly two million dollars. It was built with Indiana limestone, marble, bricks and mortar. It is one of only eight capitols where all three branches of the government are housed in one building. 
Exhibit about the only president from Indiana, Benjamin Harrison, who was the 23rd president serving from 1889 to 1892. His grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was from Ohio and was the 9th president. He died 31 days into his term. There is also an exhibit about the six Indianans who were vice-president including the current VP.
The stained glass dome is 72 feet in diameter and 105 feet above the floor. Above the stained glass is the large dome that you see on the outside. It is 235 feet high.
Around the rotunda just under the dome are eight statues representing the values that are considered positive attributes of civilization.
The building has the offices of the eight state executives; Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Clerk of Courts, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Legislative Services, Auditor, and Secretary of State, whose office we got to tour.
The House of Representatives chamber. There are 100 House members who serve two year terms. The chandelier in this chamber has 100 bulbs, one for each representative. It is an original and was quite impressive.
The mural in the House chamber was painted in 1963 by Eugene Savage. The center section represents statehood with the woman carrying a white rose and the governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison. The right side shows the business and industry of Indiana. The left side represents music, art and education. Under the mural is the State Seal. 
The Supreme Court chamber is the most unchanged from the 1888 original. The chamber is a cube with equally sized walls, floor and ceiling to represent equal justice. There are five justices on this court. 
The state library has been restored to its original appearance. 
How cool are these US Supreme Court justice's bobble heads. They come from a group called The Green Bag. I guess I'm a real geek to think something like this is so neat.
The interior of the capitol is Italian Renaissance Revival. In 1988 and 1989 an $11,000,000 renovation was done to restore the building to its original appearance. Here, on the fourth floor, all the original chandeliers that were designed for both gas and electricity were left in place. All the decorative painting, almost four acres, was done by local art students as their senior project. After graduating they formed a company that does historical restorations.
The Senate Chamber. There are 50 senators who serve four year terms. During the last renovation both the House and Senate Chambers were reduced in size to make room for offices for the legislature that are located behind the windows overlooking the chamber. 
The Indiana constitution.
The Oliver P. Morton statue honors Indiana's Civil War Governor and the Indiana soldiers who fought in the Grand Army of the Republic to save the Union and end slavery.  
We liked the National Road and the Washington statue as the road passes through our home town, Washington, PA.
This is our 31st capitol. It is different from others in many ways with the stained glass dome, the smaller legislative chambers and having all three branches of government in the same building. 
Across the street from the capitol is the state library, a beautiful Art Deco building that is worth a visit. In the main entrance these stained glass windows illustrate the changing ways information has been passed to the next generation. Ancient learning was first done orally. Then in the 13th century illuminated manuscripts were used. With the invention of the printing press in the 15th century books became widely available. The last window shows the picture writing of the American Indians.  
There are murals that follow the history of Indiana, from the Native Americans to....
defeating the British, to Indiana becoming a state.
Another room celebrates Indiana born authors. Among those is Jim Davis the creator of Garfield. 
This is one of 100 Bison art works that was done for the state's "Bison Tennial Art Project. It celebrates the state with drawings of the state flower, bird, tree, etc. It was painted by Troy Fiechter a Hoosier native who is a combat veteran. 
The Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Monument Circle started out originally to honor those Hoosiers who fought for the Union in the Civil War. As it was being built between 1888 and 1901, those who fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American and the Spanish-American Wars were added. It was the first monument to honor the common soldier in the country. You can go to the top of the monument, but it was closed when we were there.
For any race fan if you are in Indy a visit to Indianapolis Motor Raceway Hall of Fame is a must do. We have been to the time trials and the 500. We also went to the first Formula One race in 2000 and the Brickyard 400. We have not been to the museum since our first visit.
This is the 2016 winning car that was driven by Bryan Herta beside the first winner in 1911 driven by Ray Harroun. They sure have changed over the years. 
How about these two beautiful winners from 1950.
There is a huge exhibit dedicated to A.J. Foyt, the first four time winner of the 500. A.J. has been in the 500 an unbelievable 35 times and has 67 wins and seven Indy car series titles. 
He has also been a sprint car champion, and won the Daytona and Le Mans 24 hour races and the Daytona 500. No doubt, A.J. is one of the greatest drivers of all time.  This is a great tribute covering the life of a storied race car driver.  Visiting the raceway again really sparked an urge to make a plan to return to see another 500 race.  Something to add to our bucket list.  Love those Indy cars!   

1 comment:

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

Bobble headed Us Supreme Court judges. Lol,there's something you don't see every day! Nice post!