West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston – The Mountain State

West Virginia State Capitol - Front

We finally made it to our 45th state and a new capitol in the city of Charleston, West Virginia! We were there late in the day so there wasn’t a whole lot going on. However we were still able to do a self-guided tour and learn a little bit about the building and its history.

West Virginia State Capitol - Flag with Gene

I will start with a bit of that history. The West Virginia State Capitol building is actually the third for the state, and was officially dedicated on June 20th, 1932 by their current Governor William B. Conley happily on the state’s 69th birthday. What a day that must have been. It had taken 8 years, and three construction projects before it was ready for public usage. The west wing was built first between 1924 and 1925. Once that was finished, the east wing was constructed in 1926 and 1927. Between 1930 and 1932 the rotunda was completed which connected the west and east wings.

West Virginia State Capitol - Dome

Atop the capitol is the 293-foot gold dome which is stated to be five feet taller than the dome of the United States Capitol.  Either way, it is covered in copper and gold leaf, and was originally gilded by Mack Jenney and Tyler Company in 1931. The dome was later restored to the original plans of Cass Gilbert in 2005, which included the reconstruction of the eagle at the top of a 25-foot bronze spire built on a 34 and a half-foot lantern.

Rotunda

West Virginia State Capitol - Chandeller

Most rotundas in the state capitols are amazing, and this state house was no exception. Suspending 180 feet from the floor of the building on a 54-foot brass and bronze chain is a 4000-pound chandelier. It is made of 10,000 pieces of Czechoslovakian crystal, is eight feet in diameter, and is illuminated by 96 light bulbs. It is quite impressive.

West Virginia State Capitol - Us Inside

I love marble and was also impressed with how much of it was at the West Virginia State Capitol. They state the two thirds of the interior consist of marble. The walls are made of Imperial Danby, and the floors are a combination of white Vermont marble and dark Italian travertine. It was very beautiful. I think it even had more marble than the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre.

Ground Floor

West Virginia State Capitol - Rotunda1

On the first floor of the west wing side of the capitol you will find the Governor’s Offices, the Governor’s Reception room, as well as the Secretary of State’s Offices. On the east side, you will find the Attorney General offices, the Agriculture Commissioner office, as well as the Bill Drafting and Legislative Services office.

Second Floor

West Virginia State Capitol - Chambers

On the west wing side of the building you will find the Senate Chamber, the Senate Majority leader’s office, and many other Senate related offices. On the east wing side of the capitol you will find the House of Delegates Chamber, the House Speaker’s office, the House Majority Leaders office, as well as many House related offices. Couple of interesting things to note, that while the chambers are similar, there are quite a few specific differences. Two rows of coffers grace the arches above the Senate chamber, while the House has only one. There are carved eagles in each of the chambers which are also a little different. The ones in the Senate have their wings spread, while the ones in the House are closed. Another unique difference between the two chambers is their ceilings. The Senate is dome shaped, while the one in the House is flat.

West Virginia State Capitol - Side

I was very happy to be able to see and explore the West Virginia State Capitol. I have to say we had a nice time walking around the building while getting a little turned around at times, lol (it is actually WAY bigger than it looks) but everyone we spoke with was very friendly and quick to answer any questions we had.

West Virginia State Capitol - Gardens

However, a tour is not complete without checking out some of the statues on the Capitol Grounds.  Below is a list of some of these statues you might like to see:

  • West Virginia Veterans Memorial
  • The West Virginia Female Veterans statue
  • Spirit of West Virginia
  • Booker T. Washington
  • The Liberty Bell
  • Mountaineer Solder
  • “Stonewall” Jackson
  • Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight
  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument
  • The Coal Miner Statue

West Virginia State Capitol Visitor Information

Address:

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East Charleston, West Virginia

Phone:

304- 558-4839

Hours:

The Capitol is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday and Holidays.

Price:

Free

Tours:

State Capitol tours, and tours of the Governor’s Mansion are available for guests, school groups, etc., by calling Capitol Tours & Information – (304) 558-4839

Individuals and groups may also tour the nearby Culture Center and West Virginia State Museum – (304) 558-0220

Directions:

From points North: Take I-77 South to the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn right off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

From points East: Take I-68 West to I-79 South, then to I-77 South. Take the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn right off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

From points South: Take I-77 North to the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn left off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

From points West: Take I-64 East to the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn right off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

Parking & Shuttle:

Shuttle service is provided between the Capitol Complex and the Laidley Field parking area in three shifts, a morning shift, a midday shift and an afternoon shift. The shuttle departs from Laidley Field starting at 6:45 a.m. All other shifts the shuttle starts at Building 3. The last run of the day begins at 5:15 p.m. Each complete run of the shuttle is approximately 10-15 minutes depending on traffic lights and traffic.

The shuttle does not operate typically between 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. The Schedule also includes a number to call if more information or assistance is needed. The stops include: Laidley Field, Capitol Parking Garage {North Side}, Building 3 {North Side}, Building 5, Building 6, Capitol Building East Wing, Capitol Building West Wing & Cultural Center Entrances. The shuttle bus is handicapped accessible.

Accessibility:

All public entrances to the State Capitol are wheel chair accessible.

Food:

The Capitol Complex Food Court is located in the basement of the main capitol building. It is open Monday-Friday – 7:00am – 1:30pm. Menus, contact information and more are available through the Food Court’s website: https://www.wvcapitolfoodcourt.com/

Middleton Place Plantation – Charleston, South Carolina

Middleton Place - HouseLast New Year’s we were in Hilton Head, SC, and had an amazing time. After the new year celebration was over, we headed to Charleston to visit one of my high school friends. We had been to South Carolina before to see the state capitol, but had never really explored the area. I have to say, it is absolutely gorgeous. Our hosts showed us a great time and were wonderful tour guides. J One of the places that they took us was to see the Middleton Place Plantation. We had been to Monticello in Virginia before, so I had a small idea of what to expect, but this place was way more than I was expecting. Continue reading “Middleton Place Plantation – Charleston, South Carolina”

Instagram
Pinterest
Pinterest
fb-share-icon