If you are not interested in the architecture information to follow, I urge you to skip ahead to the end where I have information about a cause I want to share with everybody please!
Ms. Freedom tops the 75 foot gilded dome of the Georgia State Capitol - she is 26 feet tall from her torch to her feet and weighs 1,600 pounds she carries a sword and a torch to commemorate the dead. No one knew these specifications until she was removed in 2004 and sent to Canada for restoration! At night her torch is lit, a retractable tube holding a light bulb is inside the hollow statue.
|Statue of General John B. Gordon, first Governor to occupy the Capitol|
The Capitol was completed in 1889, its exterior of Indiana limestone looking pretty good after more than one hundred years! Originally the dome was tin plated, the 43 ounces of gold necessary for the gilding was a donation from the citizens from Dahlonega and Lumpkin County in 1958. Unfortunately it was originally applied during the winter so it did not adhere properly and only lasted 19 years before having to be reapplied. Now they reapply as needed when it starts to wear, and only ten other states have capitol domes covered with gold leaf: Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
|Corinthian columns and the Georgia State Seal carved on the triangular pediment|
The interior is stately but simple, with Georgia marble and oak wood used throughout. It was among the earliest buildings to feature elevators and centralized steam heat, what luxury those early figures of government had to work in compared to their peers in other states!
As I mentioned, I couldn't see much inside the Capitol due to security tightening. This was due to the fact that former Governor Zell Miller had died and I actually passed his casket which was under guard. If you want to know more, here is a link about the Governor and his passing.
|Clerestory windows to admit light in the atrium|
I don't think there was anything I missed of interest though. I didn't find any information online about murals or pieces of art. I did find the rotunda interesting with its pilasters on the wall which give the appearance of columns.
Most of the art is truly in the public's eye here, on display outside competing with the blossoming trees.
One of the statues is of former President Carter, amazing ambassador for peace who is still with us at age 93.
Another statue puzzled me, and I had to read the plaque to find out its meaning.
I am always appalled and then awed by the struggle that black people have had to undergo in this country. Unfortunately their struggle still continues. Recently I was listening to NPR and heard about something that inspired me. Alvin Irby founded Barbershop Books which provides books to 100 barbershops in black neighborhoods across the country. The goal is to help black boys ages 4-8 identify as readers, something that is desperately needed especially in Wisconsin. Wisconsin posted the second largest gap across the whole nation on the national standardized test for fourth grade reading for the difference between white students and black students. Only Washington DC scored worse for disparity between the reading competency of black and white students.
I donated $50 to their cause, and I urge you to go to this link for Barbershop Books and donate also! If you are interested in helping girls grow up strong, I always recommend helping out the Girl Scouts in any way you can. I know in Milwaukee they have an Urban department which specifically works to get girls from impoverished neighborhoods in Girl Scouts so they can become confident young women someday and even has staff leaders to lead the troops since these neighborhoods seldom have the ability to have parent-led troops.