|a statue of “Wisdom” adorns their dome|
as with many new territories, the first capital of Maine did not last (nor did the first capitol building, for that matter, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1866). Portland housed the new state government from its independence from Massachusetts in1820 until a selection process settled on Augusta as the new state capital in 1827. the current State House in Augusta was designed by Charles Bulfinch and modeled after his design of the Massachusetts State House. construction on the building began in 1829, using granite quarried from nearby Hallowell (also a capital city contender), and the legislature met in it for the first time in 1832. a faulty heating system resulted in numerous fires but the original Bulfinch facade survives intact, though over the years major expansion and remodeling projects brought the building to its current size and configuration. the original cupola was replaced by the current dome, which reaches 185 feet, and the length of the building doubled to 300 feet.
|the snazzy visitor’s entrance|
during a push in the 1990s to improve general quality of life within the capitol (fix leaks, improve ventilation, etc.), a potential time capsule was discovered embedded in a cornerstone next to the original entrance to the building. however, because of fiscal constraints it was decided to leave the object in place until it could be unveiled with greater ceremony and pomp. unfortunately, the day before the Capitol’s 182nd birthday did not merit such pomp and, in fact, we were the only ones wandering around the grounds!