Virginia State Capitol, Richmond
USINFO | 2013-05-23 13:27

The Virginia State Capitol is the seat of state government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, located in Richmond, the third capital city of the U.S. state of Virginia. It houses the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, the Virginia General Assembly, first established as the House of Burgesses in 1619.
The capitol was conceived of by Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau in France. Although it was completed in 1788 and is currently 224 years old, the current Capitol is the eighth built to serve as Virginia's state house, primarily due to fires during the Colonial period. In the early 20th century, two wings were added, leading to its present appearance. In 1960, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Jefferson modeled Virginia's capitol on the Maison Carrée.
When it convened in Richmond on May 1, 1780, the legislature met in a makeshift building near Shockoe Bottom. Plans were begun for a new building to serve a new state, the commonwealth of Virginia. The site selected for a new, permanent building was on Shockoe Hill, a major hill overlooking the falls of the James River.
Thomas Jefferson is credited with the overall design of the new Capitol, together with French architect Charles-Louis Clérisseau. The design was modeled after the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, an ancient Roman temple.[4] The only other state to accurately copy an ancient model is the Vermont State House, which based its portico on the Temple of Theseus in Athens. Jefferson had Clérisseau, substitute the Ionic order over the more ornate Corinthian column designs of the prototype in France. At the suggestion of Clérisseau, it used a variant of the Ionic order designed by Italian student of Andrea Palladio, Vincenzo Scamozzi.[5]
The cornerstone was laid on August 18, 1785, with Governor Patrick Henry in attendance, prior to the completion of its design. In 1786, a set of architectural drawings and a plaster model were sent from France to Virginia, where it was executed by Samuel Dobie. It was sufficiently completed for the General Assembly to meet there in October 1792.
It is one of only eleven capitols in the United States without an external dome. (The others are the capitols of Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee.)
©2012-2014 Bywoon | Bywoon