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State Capitol Revolution Trivia Quiz
Architecture of State Capitols
In this quiz, see if you can identify ten different state capitols. There will be four capitols with Neo-Classical designs (like the U.S. Capitol), four capitols with Art Deco designs and two capitols with unique designs.
Click or drag options above to the spaces under each photo.
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. North Dakota (Art Deco)
The North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck is an Art Deco style building that was completed in 1934. Art Deco (Arts Décoratifs) architecture originated in France and became popular in the United States in the 1920's and 1930's. Art Deco buildings are known for their sharp-edged, geometric and smooth designs. Some other examples include the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings in New York City.
The exterior of the North Dakota State Capitol was constructed using Indiana limestone. It's distinctive rectangular tower section is 95 ft in both length and width and rises up to a height of 242 ft (73.5 m), making the state capitol one of the tallest buildings in the entire state of North Dakota. Because of this, the North Dakota State Capitol was given the nickname "Skyscraper on the Prairie". There is an observation deck located on the 18th floor of the tower, which can be accessed during daily tours of the facility.
The North Dakota State Capitol was designed by local architects Joseph Bell DeRemer (1871-1944) and William F. Kurke (1889-1965), who collaborated with a Chicago-based architecture firm named Holabird & Root. The Judicial Wing of the capitol (far right in the photo), was added to the structure in 1981.
2. Colorado (Neo-Classical)
Colorado's state capitol is one of many that were designed using Neo-Classical architecture, which became popular throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the building's exterior features, such as the columns and dome, were influenced by architecture styles used in ancient Rome and Greece.
The Colorado State Capitol is 272 ft (83 m) in height from the ground to the top of its dome. There is a special marker on one of its exterior steps which measures at exactly one mile above sea level. The exterior of the building was constructed using grey granite taken from a local quarry within the state. It also features numerous Corinthian-style columns which can seen above each of its main entrances, as well as all around the dome section.
The Colorado State Capitol was officially opened for business in 1894. However, the capitol's gold dome, which commemorates the Colorado Gold Rush (1858-1861), would not be completed until 1908. The building was designed by Pennsylvania-born architect Elijah E. Myers (1832-1909), who also designed the state capitol buildings of Texas (completed in 1885) and Michigan (completed in 1878).
3. Nebraska (Art Deco)
The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln was the first capitol building to be designed with a high-rise tower. It was also the first capitol to be designed using Art Deco architecture. The designs for the capitol were drafted in 1920, a time when Art Deco architecture tended to be more colorful and artistic.
Nebraska's capitol was designed by Bertram G. Goodhue (1869-1924), who was born in Connecticut and based out of New York City. The building features a square-shaped base, with each side measuring at 437 ft (133 m) in width and a 400 ft (122m) tower rising up from the center. There are numerous stone carvings that sit at the top of each side of the capitol's base section. Mosaics featuring thunderbirds were placed at the top of the tower (just below its dome) and a 19.5 ft (5.9 m) tall bronze statue named The Sower was placed at the top of the dome.
Like the North Dakota State Capitol, the Nebraska State Capitol was also constructed using Indiana limestone for its exterior. It was constructed in four stages and took roughly ten years to build. The north and south walls were constructed first between 1922-1924. The east wall was constructed between 1925-1928, just after the previous capitol which stood in its place was demolished. The tower section was constructed between 1928-1930 and the west wall (final section) was completed in 1932 (eight years after Bertram Goodhue passed away).
4. Hawaii (Unique)
Having been completed in 1969, the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu is one of youngest capitol buildings in the fifty states. It also has one of the most unique architecture styles among the other state capitol buildings in the country. Per Wikipedia, it was constructed using 'Hawaii international architecture'.
The exterior of Hawaii's capitol (which was constructed using reinforced concrete) is rectangular shaped with a width of 360 ft (110 m), a length of 270 ft (82 m) and a height of 100 ft (30 m). It is surrounded by a pool of water which is meant to represent the Pacific Ocean. The building's columns along the sides were inspired by coconut palm trees and the two legislative chambers, which are conical in shape, were inspired by volcanoes. The central atrium of the capitol sits under an open roof and is exposed to the elements, along with much of the bottom floor.
The Hawaii State Capitol was primarily designed by Californian architect John Carl Warnecke (1919-2010) who also designed John F. Kennedy's gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery. Several local architecture firms also contributed to the building's design and construction.
5. Arkansas (Neo-Classical)
At first glance, the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock looks a lot like the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. (especially its dome). Both buildings were constructed in the Neo-Classical style.
Completed in 1915, the Arkansas State Capitol is roughly three-quarters the size of the U.S. Capitol, with a height of approximately 216 ft (66 m) and a width of 564 ft (172 m). It was constructed out of Batesville limestone which was supplied by a local quarry from within the state. Numerous Ionic-style columns can be seen along each side of the capitol's exterior walls as well as at the base of its dome.
The Arkansas State Capitol was designed by George R. Mann (1856-1939) who was born in Indiana and studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). George Mann's design for Arkansas' capitol had originally been selected to be used for Montana's state capitol in 1896, but Montana's government had canceled the project and a different design (also Neo-Classical in style) was chosen for Montana's capitol several years later.
6. Idaho (Neo-Classical)
The Idaho State Capitol in Boise is another state capitol building that was constructed using Neo-Classical architecture. The central portion of the Idaho State Capitol was completed in 1912 and its two wing sections were completed in 1920.
The Idaho State Capitol measures at 208 ft (63 m) in height and it features a 5.5 ft (1.7 m) tall eagle statue made of bronze that stands upon the top of its dome. The exterior of the building was constructed using sandstone, which gives the capitol is tannish hue. There are two types of Greek-columns that can be seen on the exterior of the structure. Corinthian-style columns stand at the building's main entrance as well as at the base of the dome. Ionic-style columns stand at the sides of the capitol's wings, as well as its rear entrance.
The Idaho State Capitol was designed by architects John E. Tourtellotte (1869-1939) and Charles Hummel (1857-1939). John E. Tourtellotte was also born in Connecticut. However, he mainly practiced his craft in the western United States, mainly Idaho and Oregon. His partner, Charles Hummel, was a German immigrant. Despite having the same last name he is not directly related to the famous German figurine maker M.I. Hummel.
7. New Mexico (Unique)
The New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe is another capitol building that utilizes a unique architecture style. It was completed in 1966 and was designed by Willard C. Kruger (1910-1984), who was born in Texas, but lived the majority of his life in New Mexico.
Willard Kruger used a 'territorial style' of architecture in his design of the New Mexico State Capitol. The building is mostly round in shape with four squared off entrances that face each cardinal direction. From above, the building is meant to resemble the sun symbol of the local Zia (Native American) tribe, which was adopted as one of New Mexico's official state symbols.
The New Mexico State Capitol is also one of the (if not the) shortest capitol buildings among the fifty states with a height of only 60 ft (18 m) above ground. The legislative chambers were both placed in what is essentially the basement of the capitol.
8. Oregon (Art Deco)
The Oregon State Capitol in Salem is another state capitol building that was built using an Art Deco architecture style. Having been designed in the middle of the Great Depression, the Art Deco style during this era tended to be less artistic and more simplistic in order to keep costs as low as possible.
The Oregon State Capitol was designed by New York based architecture firm Trowbridge & Livingston in order to replace the previous two capitols which were both destroyed by fire (1885 and 1935). The central portion of the building was completed in 1938, however the wings (not shown in the photo) would not be added until 1977. Oregon residents originally were not too receptive of the capitol's design, seeing its simplistic dome as looking like a 'paint can' when compared to Neo-classical domes.
The Oregon State Capitol has a height of 162 ft (51 m). Its exterior was constructed using white marble that originated in Vermont. At the top of the capitol's dome is a 22 ft (6.7 m) tall statue known as the Oregon Pioneer (aka Gold Man). It was designed by German-American sculptor Ulric Ellerhusen (1879-1957) and was constructed using bronze and thin sheets of gold.
9. Louisiana (Art Deco)
The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge was designed using Art Deco architecture styles by a local firm named Weiss, Dreyfous and Seiferth. It was built to replace the state's previous capitol building which featured unique Gothic-style architecture that made it look like a castle. The old capitol still stands today and currently operates as a museum.
When it was completed in 1932, the Louisiana State Capitol became the tallest state capitol among the fifty states. Its tower section stands at 450 ft (137 m) and the building contains 34 stories in total. Much like the Nebraska State Capitol (which highly influenced its design), the Louisiana State Capitol features numerous carved sculptures on is exterior, which was constructed using limestone brought in from Alabama.
The Louisiana State Capitol became symbolic of controversial governor and senator Huey Long, who spearheaded the capitol's construction during the onset of the Great Depression. Huey Long would later be assassinated at the Louisiana State Capitol in 1935 after declaring his candidacy for President of the United States. His remains were buried in a garden just to the south of the building.
10. Missouri (Neo-Classical)
The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City is yet another Neo-Classical structure that has a strong resemblance to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Completed in 1917, the building stands at a height of 238 ft (72.5 m). It was designed by a New York-based architecture firm headed by Evarts Tracy (1868-1922) and Egerton Swartwout (1870-1943). Its exterior was constructed using Burlington limestone which is found within the state of Missouri. Dozens of Corinthian-style columns are present on all sides of the structure as well as on the base of the dome.
There are several distinguishing pieces of sculpture that can be found at the Missouri State Capitol. One of them is a ten-foot-tall copper statue of Ceres, the Greek goddess of agriculture, which stands at the top of the dome. Another is a thirteen-foot-tall statue of Thomas Jefferson (whom Missouri's capital city was named after) which stands at the front of the capitol's main entrance.