continuing in this capitol vein, let’s head to Denver’s mile-high capitol. while I may have visited before, my most memorable trip to the Colorado statehouse was on my drive from Madison to San Diego four and a half years ago (wow, really that long ago?!). because my uncle was running for state elected office at the time, upon stopping into the Republican caucus the office person offered to show us around the legislative chambers. apart from my uncle getting into trouble for trying to go into the well of the Assembly chamber (which is, apparently, restricted to elected officials), the tour was somewhat underwhelming. part of the interior was under renovation and mostly I remember it being dark and much narrower than any capitol I’d visited to date.
the building was designed by Elijah E. Meyers (who also designed the Michigan and Texas state capitol buildings) and constructed at the end of the 19th century, opening for use in 1894. unlike Illinois, the selection of Denver as capitol proved primarily uncontentious, the city beating out competitors like Pueblo by more than 17,000 votes. the exterior construction consists of white granite while the interior utilizes rose onyx and a rare rose marble, all from Colorado. the ceiling of the entrance hall rises some 180 feet (seen above) to the top of the dome, though (as I said) I was less impressed with this dome than with others that I’ve seen. the exterior of the dome is covered in gold plate, an addition made in 1908 to commemorate the Colorado gold rush.
the capitol shares its most unique feature with the city’s nickname as the Mile High City. the fifteenth step of the western entrance includes the phrase “One Mile Above Sea Level” and serves as the mark for measuring the official elevation of Denver. subsequent to the step’s placement, however, more accurate elevation measurements have been taken — first by students at Colorado State University in 1969, and again and in 2003. each time, brass markers were added to indicate the adjustment, which currently resides on the 13th step.
learn lots more history here