California State Capitol Building

State Capitol Building
Photo by: prayitno, Creative Commons

The California State Capitol Building is also called the “People’s Building.” This late 19th century structure symbolizes the politics and government of the state of California and houses the offices of the Governor, the Senate, and other important political bodies. The building was constructed and planned by M. Frederic Butler, who used the neoclassical style of architecture. The building is a famous visitor attraction, with over 750,000 visitors visiting the building every year. One striking feature of the building is the similarity of its dome to that of the dome of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Visitors can first go to Capitol Park, which has a number of memorials and about 40 acres of park area. One can spend hours strolling around the park, but the Capitol also has its own attractions. There are guided tours being conducted for free in the Capitol, and they start every hour from 9AM to 4PM. The building is open every day, save for three important holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

There are a number of artworks housed in the building such as paintings, murals, and even a statue of the Spanish Queen Isabella and well-known explorer Christopher Columbus. There are 3 kinds of art collections at the Capitol Building. The Permanent and Loan Collections have one thing in common: these depict the state of California and its citizens through paintings of events and places in California.

All of the California senators are given the opportunity to choose one budding artist from their districts and have a sample of his/her artwork displayed in the Building. These artworks are then considered as part of the Biennial Senate Contemporary Art Collection and are put on display for 2 years. Other artworks in the building include paintings of past and present governors of California.

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