Old State Capitol Building, Frankfort

4.6
#6 of 16 in Things to do in Frankfort
The Old State Capitol , also known as Old Statehouse, was the third Capitol of Kentucky. The building in Frankfort, Kentucky served as the capitol of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 1830 to 1910. The building has been restored to its American Civil War era appearance.The Kentucky legislature voted for its construction in 1827. The building was designed in the Greek Revival style by Gideon Shryock, an early Lexington, Kentucky architect. The Old State Capitol was his first building and he was only twenty-five years old. Shryock chose the Greek Revival style to symbolically link Kentucky, a young republic, with ancient Greece, the prototype of popular democratic government. He wanted the front of the building to duplicate the Temple of Minerva Polias at Priene. Greek temples had no windows, therefore the front of the Capitol is devoid of fenestration. Other striking architectural features include a famous self-supporting stone stairway and a domed lantern above it to bring in an abundance of sunlight.A bitterly contested 1899 state governor election came to a climax when Democratic claimant William Goebel of Covington, Kentucky was assassinated at the capitol on his way to be inaugurated. A plaque reading "William Goebel fell here, Jan. 30th, 1900" exists near the front entrance of the building.The current Kentucky State Capitol, Kentucky's fourth, was built in 1910. The Old State Capitol has served as a museum and the home of the Kentucky Historical Society since 1920.
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Old State Capitol Building Reviews
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  • This is a great place to visit for anyone interested in history, especially Kentucky history, and also for those who are interested in architecture. We spent an hour and a half on a guided tour, and c...  more »
  • This is a very different tour than the state Capitol. This is a history and architecture tour. Our guide, Roger, took the time for questions and was a great source of information for the history, arch...  more »
  • This was the fourth state capitol we toured on our trip. It was breathtaking. From the moment we walked into the rotunda we were in awe. The rotunda changes colors and the statue of Abraham Lincoln wa...  more »
Google
  • Fabulous history, architecture, furniture, and period authenticity. Of course, not possible to learn or appreciate were it not for an amazingly interesting and knowledgable guide (Col. Roger Barlow). Highly recommend the tour and if at all possible, plan ahead of time with Col. Barlow doing the tour
  • It was great to be able to see a piece of history. Great time walking around site seeing
  • We like to hunt for painted rocks.
  • Take the tour, learn about Kentucky History.
  • The lawn in front of the old capital building is a great place to go and enjoy some of the festivals that Frankfort puts on. Also, this is the location of the Christmas tree lighting.

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