Missouri's Sixth Wonder - The State Capitol

1 decade 3 years 8 months ago Monday, July 10 2006 Jul 10, 2006 Monday, July 10, 2006 8:12:45 AM CDT July 10, 2006 in News

The building also is where elected officials do the people's business.

"They shape the education that we get and our children get," Priddy said. "They shape the roads that we drive on, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. Capitols are intended not only to be homes of government, but they're intended to be symbols of the greatness of a state."

A New York architectural firm designed the Missouri Capitol.

"They designed all of the little nooks and crannies, right down to designing the toilet paper holders and ashtrays and spitoons, and stuff like that," d Priddy explained.

The House and Senate chambers are where lawmakers have debated and decided the destiny of Missourians since 1917. The imposing facade features intricate designs carved in stone. The massive Rotunda has a ceiling that soars up to a dome which tops out at 262 feet above the basement floor.

"People don't realize the scope of some of the artwork that we have here" said Kurt Senn, director of the Missouri State Museum. "The one thing they can remember is the Swinging Bridge. The bridge actually changes direction if you walk past it."

The Swinging Bridge mural is one of the stops on the Capitol tour, along with the Hall of Famous Missourians, where you can see former President Harry Truman, author Mark Twain, musician Scott Joplin and baseball great Stan "The Man" Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals.

"The speaker of the house has the honor of picking out a famous person when they're in office to be honored," explained Senn.

"The Thomas Hart Benton mural in the House of Representatives' lounge is a popular stop," he added. "It depicts the social history of Missouri. It took him a year and a half of research, and six months to draw and paint."

There are also hidden parts of the Capitol building: bricks, mortar and 250 stairs leading up to the dome, which offers a wonderful view.

Thanks to videographer Scott Schaefer

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