Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, the state capital is located in the Kanawha River valley. It is west Virginia's largest city. The capitol building, completed in 1932, was designed by Cass Gilbert. Its shiny dome, covered in gold leaf, is 292 feet high and from the center of the gold dome hangs a rock crystal chandelier weighing 2 tons.
Sent by Lisa, a postcrosser from West Virginia.
The West Virginia State Capitol is the seat of government for the U.S. state of West Virginia, and houses the West Virginia Legislature and the office of the Governor of West Virginia. Located in Charleston, West Virginia, the building was dedicated in 1932. Along with the West Virginia Executive Mansion it is part of the West Virginia Capitol Complex, a historic district listed on theNational Register of Historic Places.
Prior to the American Civil War, the counties that would ultimately form West Virginia were a part of the state of Virginia; the state capitol was in Richmond, Virginia. After Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the northwest counties of Virginia loyal to the United States started the process which would ultimately create the State of West Virginia on June 20, 1863.
Settling on a state capital location, however, proved to be difficult. For several years, the capital of West Virginia intermittently traveled between Wheeling and Charleston. In 1877, however, the state's citizens voted on the final location of their capital. Charleston was chosen and, eight years later, the first capitol building was opened. After a fire in 1921, a hastily-built structure was opened but it too burned down in 1927.
A Capitol Building Commission, created by the Legislature in 1921, authorized construction of the present capitol. Architect Cass Gilbert designed the buff limestone structure that was to have a final cost of just under $10 million. After the three stages of construction were completed, Governor William G. Conley dedicated the capitol on June 20, 1932.
Gilbert liked his design of the West Virginia chamber's interior so well that he reused part of the design for the United States Supreme Court. The U.S. chamber is a larger version of the one found in the West Virginia Capitol's East Wing.