When was the last time you visited your state capitol building? You know – the building in the state capital where the State Legislature meets. The Governor’s Mansion is probably nearby. Have you visited that too, if your state allows? If you have kids, have you taken them to visit and to watch our government in action? For that matter, have you ever visited the federal Capitol Building in D.C.?
Yesterday, I visited my state capitol building and the governor’s mansion. It’s about a two hour drive from my house. Growing up, I was never more than about 20 minutes from the state capital and could easily have visited. For that matter, it would still be super easy to visit when I visit my parents’ house. I have visited D.C. many times and seen the outside of the Capitol Building but never toured it. My visit to the state capital yesterday had nothing, really, to do with any interest in politics. I just went along on my son’s field trip. In short, I have no excuse for not visiting.
Growing up, I saw the state capital for that state all the time and the building is beautiful. While I was thinking about what a beautiful unobstructed river view it has, I realized that I do not remember actually being in the building. I have been in the capital city for two other states I lived in, but never the capitol building. I simply never took the time – it didn’t seem interesting enough, I suppose.
To be fair, listening to the legislators speak was very very dull, but I was also able to speak to my representatives in person and tell them my concerns. What do you think will carry more weight with them, sending an email or taking the time to go to their office in person? They may not always be able to meet with you, but it’s worth a shot.
States take pride in their capitol buildings. They are generally beautiful old buildings full of history and artwork. They are worthy of a visit just for that. They also frequently have some lovely landscaping and other historic buildings and museums to visit nearby. If you have visited yours, please post about your experience! If not, maybe it’s time to start planning a visit. At the least, if the state capital is too far away, you can visit the town hall or mayor’s office for your city, or the County Seat where your county government is headquartered.
The next time someone brings up your state capital (or the state Capitol Building), will you be able to tell them that you’ve actually visited it?
Note: A capital is either an UPPERCASE LETTER, or the city or town that is the official seat of government for that area. It has two “a”s. The Capitol Building (with an O at the end instead of an A) is where the United States Congress meets and many states adopted the name for their state legislatures’ buildings.
Our national capital is Washington, D.C. and contains the Capitol Building where Congress meets.