After a controversial 322 million dollar face-lift at the Kansas Capitol Building in Topeka returns to its former glory. 

My mother’s twin sister and her family lived in Topeka, Kansas. For all the years I was growing up I just thought the capitol building had a green dome. It wasn’t until later that I learned the dome was actually bronze and the green was just because the weather conditions had tarnished its original color. The condition called verdigris. I like the etymology of the word. It is french and was originally written Vert de Grece meaning Green of Greece, because all the Greek statues had had their original color turned green to to weatherization.  I digress but the dome wasn’t always green. Today the dome on the Kansas Capitol building is back (for now) to its original bronze color.


Not only has the dome been cleaned up and polished back to the original color but the entire building has had major work done. The work has not been without controversy. While the state government was dramatically reducing the budget for education and social services and had significantly eliminated revenue through massive tax cuts, the state still managed a three hundred plus million dollar renovation of the capitol. While the results are beautiful, many in the state felt that such discretionary largesse seemed shortsighted and bordered on elitism. Political differences aside no one would seem to argue that the capitol building has become quite the showplace.

No longer  lime green the newly scrubbed dome creates a reflection that can be seen for miles
Lincoln was president at the time Kansas entered the union as a “free state’ meaning that it did not allow slavery. The admission of the state was a much debated topic at the time.
The state motto of Kansas “Ad astra per aspera”  is Latin for “through the stars through difficulties”  and reflects the turmoil created by the admission of the state to the Union.
One of the most famous objects in the capitol is this painting “Tragic prelude’ by John Steuart Curry which depicts the struggles Kansas faced from both Pro=Slavery and abolitionist forces
The center dome rotunda


The interior of the capitol

The building is a state treasure and has free admission

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