“And the landlubbers lie down below, below, below.”

by chuckofish

Well today at work we had some program partners in town from Boston for the first time since early 2020. We really rolled out the welcome mat. And by that I mean, they took us up on our offer of a tour of the Missouri State Capitol. I went along because in my job, I usually don’t venture far from our office on the second floor.

According to Wikipedia, the present capitol, completed in 1917 and occupied the following year, is the third capitol in Jefferson City and the sixth in Missouri history. The first seat of state government was housed in the Mansion House, located at Third and Vine Streets in St. Louis and the second one was in the Missouri Hotel located at Main and Morgan Streets in St. Charles. St. Charles was designated as the temporary capital of the state in 1821 and remained the seat of government until 1826.

The exterior of the Missouri State Capitol is notable for its architectural features: the Baroque dome, rising 238 feet (73 m) above ground level, topped by sculptor Sherry Fry’s bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture; the eight 48-foot (15 m) columns on the south portico; the six 40-foot (12 m) columns on the north portico; the 30-foot (9 m)-wide grand staircase; and the bronze entrance doors, each 13 by 18 feet (4.0 m × 5.5 m)—at the time, the largest cast since the Roman era.[4]

It’s a very cool building. The Capitol Dome is the first intentionally designed “Whispering Gallery” meaning you can clearly hear a person on the other side of the rotunda if they are speaking into the wall. It is an amazing spectacle. You can read more about it here.

After we left the already way up there Whispering Gallery, we ventured another 200 steps practically straight up to the top of the rotunda. I am not kidding when I say I had no idea how out of shape I am. I think it almost killed me.

The interior of a dome is fascinating. And then we had to take a winding staircase to the door! But I’d say the view was worth it.

I hadn’t been up to the very top since high school when a club visited and our state senator took us up. It is truly wild that 20 years (20 years!) later I work in the building. Anyway, it was a fun field trip.

*the blog title is from a sea shanty I remember from my Michigan camp days and is truly how I felt being at the top of the dome.