Oklahoma City, OK: State Capitol Tour

We're now "collecting" state capitol buildings. See all the state capitol buildings we've toured here.

Quick Notes:
- Date: Monday, July 10, 2017
- Tour was: Guided, about an hour; free
- Has it burned down?: Not yet
- Most interesting thing: Dome was only completed in 2002.
- Visited: dome area/rotunda, house of representatives, senate chamber, doors in front of governor and lt. governor offices.
- Our 8th State Capitol building visited
- Tour information website

En route to our few weeks' stay in New Mexico this July, we planned our drive out to get our 8th state capitol building in Oklahoma City. We prefer to take guided tours when possible (you learn so much more that way, and they are way more interesting). The website lists the tours as going every hour from 9am-3pm except at noon on Monday-Friday. We were here on a Monday (July 10) and we made it from Tulsa just in time for the 10am tour (we tried to time the hour and a half drive to avoid rush hour traffic). We lucked out and had our tour guide, who had been giving these tours for more than 15 years, all to ourselves. He mentioned that summertime is slow, but that during the school year, the tours are packed, so depending on when you visit you might need to plan ahead more.

Oklahoma's state capitol building is really interesting because the dome was only recently built - 2001-2002! There are pictures of how the building used to look decorating the rotunda level currently; the building is undergoing renovation for its 100th birthday and all the normal, removable artwork has been taken off the walls.

It's also interesting because it's the only capitol building in the world with oil wells literally on the campus.

Aside from the dome rotunda area (more pictures below), we also got to see the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. Both had stained glass ceilings, although natural light cannot pass through them (they are lit by electric lights). Some of the stained glass panels are original (those nearest the speakers' desks), but most are replacements in more recent years. The House ceiling was the more beautiful of the two, and included intricate ceiling decoration along with the stained glass.

Back in the dome rotunda area now, this area had some of the only art still on display, since the murals can't really be taken down during renovation.

The railing in the center has plaques that explain the meanings behind each area of each mural. Very useful if you are trying to understand what all the artist was going for in the paintings.

Also at the State Capitol building is an art gallery that we spent a few minutes in.

This piece below (with Eric for scale) was my favorite. It looks like it's lit up from behind with lights, right? Nope - it's all just done with paint. It is mounted on that solid wall which was about 6 inches thick. So cool!

Here is more about the artwork at the OK capitol building, including pictures and descriptions of all the art that is usually on the walls but was removed for the restoration process.  
Oklahoma City, OK: State Capitol Tour Oklahoma City, OK: State Capitol Tour Reviewed by Maria on 7:38:00 PM Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I toured there on my previous sabbatical, seven years ago -- I remember lots of art on the walls. We drove by a few weeks ago, so I could point out the oil well to my kids, but we didn't have time to go in.


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