Tigger Travels - Journal of Adventures. (not a travel agent)
Photos From Tigger`s Travels and MORE!
Iowa State Capitol building and the Largest Gold Dome of ALL US State Capitols
Everyone should visit this beautiful five-domed building worthy of housing the Governor of Iowa in Des Moines
Tigger bounced through #DesMoines, #Iowa recently to visit family. While traveling through this State Capitol it is easy to see the #Gold Dome from any location and with its shiny gold leaf the sun reflects off it like a beacon!
This architectural delight was built over a 15 year period between 1871 and 1886 for nearly $3 million (double the original budget) and amazingly all but 377 pennies of that cost was fully accounted for!
Self guided and formal tours of the capitol are free for guests but be sure to check out the Iowa Legislature site for more information on the Capitol Tour. There is a lot of information that you may find useful about getting there, scheduling groups bigger than 10 people and what door to use to get in. Tigger used the South entrance after parking across E Walnut in a small lot that was nearly empty.
Like any such government building, Tigger had to go through security and even got a check-up on the x-ray machine making for one of the FUNNIEST Tigger Photos ever!!!
There are several fountains, statues and other items on the grounds that Tigger found very interesting. The Pioneer Statuary Group stands to the West next to Finkbine Drive right by the road and was completed in 1892 in an effort to improve the State Capitol grounds. It is a group of father, son and a friendly Indian in search of a home.
The Buffalo Head Drinking Fountain was originally imagined as a lion's head but it was decided to be more appropriate to Iowa's prairie environment.
The Bicentennial Fountain is actually the second to stand here. Originally built with ornate cast-iron in 1876 this fountain fell into disrepair and the current fountain was placed in 1982. It is 10-feet high.
Right up close to the building just left of the large East doors is a Parrot Rifle (No 167). It is a muzzle loading cannon cast at the West Point Foundry in New York and was used during the Civil War on the U.S. Steamer "Nipsic".
Also used during the Civil War, the Mortar directly in front of the East doors is a 13-inch seacoast mortar weighing in at an amazing 22,000 pounds! It was cast in 1861 at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania and mounted on the North Atlantic Squadron gunboat "Matthew Vassar". Granted to Iowa by an act of congress it is placed here as a reminder of that war.
Once inside, just stand under the dome and look all around and above! The beauty of the dome above and nearly thirty types of imported and domestic granite and the wood mostly from Iowa forests is breathtaking! Intricate detail work from the floor to the peak illustrate the skills of many craftsmen.
The grand stairway east of the dome goes from the first floor to the second. Notice all the art that was built right in to the building. The large mural at the head of the stairway is titled Westward is a symbolic representation of the Pioneers led by the spirits of Civilization and Enlightenment to the conquest by cultivation of the Great West. At the top of the stairway is placard that describes all the details.
Above Westward visitors will see The Mosaics. This is a set of six panels by Frederick Dielmann made in Venice that depict the functions of government: Defense, Charity, Executive, Legislative, Judiciary and Education.
Plan a morning, plan a day.. there are so many details to see here that are ripe for Education or just observation! It is even possible that one visit may not catch all of it! Whether you are driving through Des Moines or living there, DON'T MISS IT!!
Iowa State Capitol Building Tour
Date taken: 2017 08
Iowa Legistlature site for more information on the Capitol Tour
Daily Navigator/Iwa Published Schedule