Monday, February 9, 2009

Capitol Building

The weather here in Richmond, VA has been gorgeous and today was no exception. Today, I ventured to downtown Richmond to tour the state capitol building and some other sites. Legislation is in session, so I had a hard time finding a parking spot, but I found one and my companion (camera) and I were off to a great start. My first stop was the capitol grounds. Richmond is the secondest oldest state capitol in the United States, so I was anxious to see and hear all the history.

This picture shows the main front of the Capitol building. The lawn infront of the building goes about 1/2 block towards the street. Queen Elizabeth was set to visit in 2007 and so the State of Virginia went through a massive overhaul of the capitol building. To maintain it's integrity the expansion was all done underground. So when you see the lawn infront of the building there is offices and such underground.

The main building was built in 1788 and that is the section that stands out from the other insets. The side insets you see in this picture were added to the buildingin 1904.

This statue is of George Washington and is the only statue that is an near-identical replication of George Washington himself. Even down to the veins in his hands. The sculpture was placed in the capitol building directly under the rotunda. George Washington never saw the completed statue, but did pose for this and had his measurements take and re-taken so it was a complete life-like statue. The artist also smeared an oil substance on George's face and did a plaster type mold on his face, so to get the most accurate depiction of his face. Down to his shoe size is accurate. During the remodel and expansion before 2007 all other statues and busts were removed from the building, except this one. It still stands where it was placed in 1788.
Oh, how I wish this picture of the rotunda turned out. It was so beautiful with rich craftsmanship. It was truly spectacular.

This is another life-size statue, but his is of Robert E. Lee. Kind of a weird place for a statue, but this was placed in this spot because Robert E. Lee entered this doorway, took 6 steps when he stood before the assembly and accepted the command of the Confederate forces in Virginia.

Here is the front.

This is from the side.

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