With its magnificent gold dome illuminating the Charleston skyline, West Virginia State Capitol houses the state legislature and the office of the governor. Facing the beautiful Kanawha River, the building of Colonial Revival and Italian Renaissance architecture is the centerpiece of the West Virginia Capitol Complex, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a scenic plaza with the stately Executive Mansion – home of the governor - and statues of Abraham Lincoln and Stonewall Jackson.
The West Virginia State Capital is a majestic classical-styled building made of buff limestone and marble and capped with a dramatic 293-foot gold dome. Famous for being feet higher than the U.S. Capitol, the ornate dome and spire atop the building offers a dramatic contrast to the blue skies of Charleston and the cityscape. The building has strong Greek and Roman architectural influences, representing the style of pioneering architect, Cass Gilbert. Gilbert also designed the United States Supreme Court Building and the Woolworth Building in New York City, the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1913.
The beautiful interior of the West Virginia State Capitol is also a masterpiece, with historic paintings and an ornate crystal chandelier imported from Czechoslovakia. Weighing almost two tons, the lavish and breathtaking chandelier is suspended by a long gold chain and hangs 180-feet from the floor. A fun fact of West Virginia history is that every time a new governor is inaugurated into office, the chandelier is lowered by hand taking more than three hours.
For more information on the West Virginia State Capitol, hours and tours, visit http://www.wvculture.org/agency/capitol.html