While in Atlanta, June of 2012, we had a great time touring the Word of Coke, seeing Stone Mountain, and spending a few hours at Centennial Olympic Park. However, on our continued quest to visit all the 50 state capitols, we also toured the Georgia State Capitol while in the area. Yes 2012 was a while ago, but I still remember our visit fondly, as well as their amazing staircase. I think it was the highlight of the building. Of course, that is just my opinion, but I really liked it.
Apparently the Georgia State Capitol is one of only forty-three National Historic Landmarks in Georgia. It has been named a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the primary office building of Georgia's government housing the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state.
Georgia State Capitol Staircase
The capitol was designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke and Franklin P. Burnham. Its style is described as "Neo- Classical-Renaissance Revival." The cornerstone was laid on September 2, 1885, attended by a major ceremony and celebration. Georgians were invited to donate articles for entombment in the stone, and local Masons oversaw the laying of the stone. I thought that was pretty interesting when I heard that. It took until 1889 to be complete, but on July 4, 1989 construction of the Georgia State Capitol was complete, and the building opened. I thought that was cool that the building opened on our independence day!
- Monday – Friday at 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM during the months of January through May
- Monday – Friday at 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM during the months of June through August.
- Monday – Friday at 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM during the months of September through December.
No matter which tour you take, reservations are required. Call 404-463-4536 to schedule your tour. Sadly we didn’t have reservations and all the spots were already filled. Luckily they also have self-guided tours. We grabbed a Capitol tour guide brochure, and toured on our own.
Georgia State Capitol Dome
We made our way up to the second floor which was designated as the executive floor because it housed the Governor and Secretary of State’s office and in 1946 the newly created Office of the Lieutenant Governor. This floor also contains portraits of Washington, Franklin, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, former governors, as well as Jimmy Carter, the only Georgian to become President of the United States.
Georgia State Capitol Chambers
We eventually made it up to the third floor which is known as the legislative floor and it is where our legislators gain access to both the House and Senate chambers. This is always one of my favorite things to see at capitols. Apparently, the General Assembly is made up of 56 Senators and 180 Representatives. They serve during a legislative session that begins every year on the second Monday of January and lasts 40 working days, usually finishing by the end of March. Since we where there in June, there was nothing going on, but they were still cool to see.
The fourth floor houses a museum which was designed to showcase the Georgia State Capitol and Georgia government. Sadly we didn’t make it up there on that trip, but apparently there is a description of the Capitol’s time capsule; two dioramas from the 1939 World’s Fair, Governors’ artifacts, and a case featuring many of Georgia’s state symbols. Hopefully we will be able to check it out the next time we are in the area. Here is a link to a website with more info about their tours.