Essential Architecture- New England

Connecticut State Capitol

architect

Richard Upjohn

location

Hartford, Connecticut

date

1872

style

Gothic

construction

stone

type

Government
 
  North side of the Connecticut State Capitol, facing Bushnell Park.
 
 
 
  Connecticut's marble and granite Gothic-style Capitol was built in Hartford after the city was selected as the sole state capital in 1875. At front is a statue commemorating the American Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam.
 
 
The Connecticut State Capitol is located on Bushnell Park in the Connecticut capital of Hartford. The building houses the State Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, and several legislative leaders.

History
Construction of the building, designed by Richard M. Upjohn, began in 1871. It was to replace the Old State House, designed in 1792 by Charles Bulfinch, who also designed the Massachusetts State House. Completed in 1878, the building was opened for the General Assembly in January 1879. It was built at a cost of over $2,500,000. [3]

The State Capitol was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1970.[1],[4],[5]

It later underwent a restoration between 1979 and 1989.

Architecture

The Charter Oak mural above the East entrance, with the busts of Horace Bushnell and Noah Webster above.The building is a mixture of Gothic and French Renaissance styles. The exterior is East Canaan, Connecticut marble and granite from Westerly, Rhode Island. The building is roughly rectangular, with an annex on the south side. Each side has an entrance, although the west entrance is noticeably less ornate than the others. Each entrance is ornately decorated and includes several statues, busts and carvings (except the west, which only has the statues). Interestingly, there are at least eight unfilled spaces for statues, especially around the south annex above the covered entryway, as well as many spaces for more busts. The busts and statues are of political and social figures important to the state's history, and the murals depict historical scenes (except for the mural above the main north door, which is of the state seal). The 267 foot (81.4 m) tower is topped by a gold leaf dome. The interior floors used white marble and red slate from Connecticut, and colored marble from Italy.

The building's dome is circled by 12 statues representing Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Music, Science, and Force.[6]

For further reading
Curry, David Park and Pierce, Patricia Dawes, eds. Monument: The Connecticut State Capitol, Hartford, 1979.
Ransom, David F. "James 0. Batterson and the New State House." The Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin, 45 (January 1980), 1-15.

References
Cupolas of Capitalism (C-E) (2005). Cupola.com.
The State Capitol (August 5, 2002). CT.gov.

Footnotes
^ a b Connecticut State Capitol. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
^ National Register Information System. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service (2007-01-23).
^ [http://www.sots.ct.gov/RegisterManual/SectionX/SITESEALSYMB.htm "Sites, Seals & Symbols," CT.gov. Retrieved 5 Jan 2007.
^ ["New State House / Connecticut State Capitol", July 7, 1970, by Charles W. SnellPDF (514 KiB) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination]. National Park Service (1970-07-07).
^ [New State House / Connecticut State Capitol--Accompanying 3 photos, exterior, from 1970.PDF (370 KiB) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination]. National Park Service (1970-07-07).
^ [1] Web page titled, "Connecticut's New State Capitol by David M. Roth," at the "Connecticut Heritage Gateway" Web site, accessed August 12, 2006
 
www.essential-architecture.com