Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Capitol Tour... STUNNING!

Hi Chickies!

Well, I've lived in Washington State my entire life. And, the sad truth is, I've never, EVER toured our capitol.

I'm happy to say that has been rectified.

I'm always looking for something fun to do with my little grandson, so we planned a fun little trip to Olympia. The Hubbs took the day off work so he could come along. I was able to score a private tour and I'm sure that only comes along once in a lifetime, so he didn't want to miss the opportunity.

And, let me tell you... It was FAB.U.LOUS!

I couldn't believe what I was missing!

Landscaping designed by the Olmstead Brothers. Think Central Park. WOW!


My darling grandson sitting in the Governor's seat..... I'm seeing the future Governor here. :-)

The architecture was amazing beyond belief!

This fabulous structure is the tallest masonry dome (287 ft) in the United States! And, is the forth tallest in the WORLD, after St. Peter's Cathedral-Rome, St Paul's Cathedral-London and St. Isaac's-St. Petersburg.

The dome weighs 26,000 metric tons..... IMAGINE!.... and was not held together by any bolts or fasteners, but by gravity alone! Can you believe it? YIKES! The columns moved up 3" in the Nisqually quake (2001) and in 2004 the dome was permanently attached to the building. I'm thinking that was probably a very good idea. :-) There are a few cracks around the building from previous earthquakes. Yeah, we get 'em here every so often..... I felt that one, for sure!

It has more marble than any other state capitol, coming from four different countries; Belgium, France, Italy and Germany. Alaska is represented as well.

There are 42 granite steps into the building representing Washington's position as the 42nd State.

If I remember right, this photo is from the Senate Chambers. Each county is printed around the border of the room. It is SPEC.TAC.U.LAR!

I took sooooo many pictures and was trying to enjoy the beauty and take in all the information at the same time.... That was a LOT to take in for this Chickie!

The detail was over the top amazing. It is, by far, the most beautiful building I've ever been in. I was in AWE!

Even the water fountains were wonderful! Marble? WOW!

They restored and repainted everything several years ago. How painstaking to paint all of these medallions. They were EVERYWHERE!

This is the carpet in the reception room.... It is the WORLD'S largest single loom carpet. I don't remember what the measurement was, but by golly....that thing was HUGE! And, quite beautiful. Not only that, it's been there since the capitol was built and it's still in VERY good condition. Amazing, I KNOW!

For a very nominal fee any Washington State resident can attend the Inaugural Ball! I had no idea. I want to do that one of these days! What a thrill that would be!

Yep, there's Washington himself! He's brass and has one VERY shiny nose. It seems everyone rubs it for good luck. You can be sure my boy gave it a rub!

Did you know Louis Comfort Tiffany.... Yes.... THAT Tiffany.... did bronze? (Personally I always think of the little blue box......) Our capitol has the largest collection of Tiffany bronze in the WORLD! And, his last commission before his death.

Look at all of that marble! They actually rent this space and lots of happy couples have been married in this very spot. How perfectly perfect! That's the state seal in the middle of the floor. It was getting worn down from all the foot traffic, so now it has a little barrier to keep folks off of it.

It was a BLUE SKY day in the Pacific Northwest! Whooopee... Look at the workmanship on those columns.

Isn't it beautiful???

One of the MANY chandeliers.

They are ALL Tiffany! Simply STUNNING!

This one was in the reception room....Can you see the little glass shields in front of the bulbs?


I didn't want to post too many pictures, but I hope you can get a "feel" for the beauty of it.

I am no photographer, but I was THRILLED with this shot!

You cannot imagine how HUGE this was.... look at all detail above it.... They just don't do this kind of work anymore, do they???

Another shot...... I think our guide told us you could fit a phone booth inside of this fixture.

More Tiffany!

Now, this one is totally amazing.... It's in the dome. It looked big when we were standing there, but, because everything else is so big it didn't seem big enough to hold a VOLKSWAGON!.... but it IS! It weighs FIVE tons and is suspended by FIFTY feet of chain....and has 202 lights!

A close up of the bottom of the chandelier.... Those faces are life size!

What a wonderful experience. I just wish I had done it sooner....

I hope you enjoyed that little tour. :-)

Huggies and Lovies!!!


*All photos are mine except the outside shot.... I found it on Flickr. I totally forgot to take a picture outside.


  1. Good morning dearest one! LOVELY PICS! Our state capitol is also so beautiful, and not far from my home, so I have been there several times. THE GOVENOR'S CHAMBER IS SO GORGEOUS and I even saw him once while on a field trip tour with my kids!


  2. Impressive! Thanks for the tour of such a beautiful building.

  3. Wow! Absolutely beautiful. Washington state knows how to do it right.

  4. How beautiful........I have never been there and now I would love to go!! The pictures are just much fun. I know we love touring the capital of the State of Texas...the craftsmanship is amazing. What treasure we have here in the Grand USA!!!
    What wonderful memories with your grandson!

  5. I wondered where you had been hiding, Spencer! Oh, how I enjoyed seeing this. It is a magnificent building, and I always love looking at domes... that one is gorgeous. The whole building from the Corinthian columns to the fine marble is exquisite. But my favorite part of all is the new governor. If I could vote, he would have mine!


    Sheila :-)

  6. Hi Spence! I was born in WA and am living here now and have never been through the capitol. It is now on my to do list for soon...Oly isn't that far away. Thank you for this lovely tour.

  7. Spencer, what fun! You walked right past my old office in that Capitol. I love that building. TY for sharing & the memories it brings back.

    Have a beautiful weekend ~
    TTFN ~
    Hugs, Marydon

  8. What a great trip to Olympia! My hubs and I have a goal to get to all 50 states AND visit their capitals. On a cross country trip my Baby Bee ran up and down the capitol steps in Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Colorado. Some of the states we drove through we only saw at night so we didn't get to do this in every state. One day we'll make it to Olympia! Your capitol is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Spencer, so glad you went, it is a stunning building really. Hubby and I finally got a personal tour of it from our friend Pat McDonald, who is Assist. to the Sec.of State, a couple years ago, before he went on a military tour of Iraq. Pat is also in the Nat.Guard and has done many military tours, the 1st one to Iraq being the most dangerous. Anyway, he gave us a neat tour. I have some great photos too. Love it and love Olympia, some fun antique shopping in that town. Pat walks to work, his house within a block of the Capital, so he has a nice view of it all the time.

  10. You have a beautiful capitol. When we visit states, if we go through their capitol city, we always try to visit the capitol building -- they are always beautiful! We've not been to yours, however! Great pictures!

  11. What a beautiful building...thank you for visiting me the other day. xoxo

  12. Oh that is amazing!.....Truly beautiful...Thank you for all the information!..What a beautiful building and so many unique finishes and fixtures!

  13. Oh my goodness, how absolutely gorgeous! And your grandson is such a little cutie!!!

    Thanks for sharing the lovely, detailed photos with us:)

    Mary Grace

    PS Thank you SO much for your encouragement about my hair, I went ahead and chopped it off, and I'm pretty happy with it!

  14. What an amazing opportunity that was, and to get to take your grandson and see it through his eyes too. I never imagined a state capitol could be so beautiful. I saw ours (CA) as a child, but it doesn't compare. You did a great job taking pictures. Love the marble and that carpet. Wonder how they kept it looking so good.
    Love your new blog look too. I am afraid to change anything on mine. One day I will have to get brave.
    Thanks for sharing your state capitol building.

  15. Hi Spencer! I saw the Capitol on a 7th grade field trip. I remember it being very beautiful but should go back as an adult because I would be much more appreciative of its splendor now as an adult. We did get to climb to the very top of the dome when we went, I think that is what I remember most, that and the marble stairs, I remember eating our sack lunches on them. I don't think they let anyone go to the top anymore so I am glad I got to go when I did!

  16. I sure enjoyed the tour!!! I know your state is so proud of their Capital! Such beautiful, breathtaking artistry. Oh, and you are a wonderful photographer! Love your new look here too! Best, Vicki

  17. Spencer, what an awesome post! Great job.

    God bless,


  18. When did you visit WA capital? I was there this past June and found the building to be gorgeous but was so disappointed that there were no flowers, just bare dirt flower beds.


Sweet and dear little Chickies....thank you so much for your comments. I read each and every one. I always try to make a return visit........sometimes I fail miserably... but you're alllll soooo special to me!

Many, many hugs!