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Old Capitol Museum, Iowa City

4.4
#1 of 12 in Things to do in Iowa City
History Museum Historic Site
For more than 150 years, Old Capitol has represented the pioneering spirit of Iowa and The University of Iowa. The last capitol of the Iowa territory, it served as Iowa's first state capitol from 1846 to 1857. When the state government moved to Des Moines in 1857, Old Capitol served as the University's first building and the founding place of many departments.

In 1976, Old Capitol became a National Historic Landmark and public museum. After fours years of recovery from a devastating fire in 2001 that destroyed the building's dome and cupola, Old Capitol Museum reopened in May 2006 as a vital cultural and educational resource for more than 30,000 visitors, researchers, and schoolchildren each year.

The Old Capitol Museum houses a gift shop, an educational Discovery Center where kids can learn about early Iowans with computer inter-actives, the Hanson Family Humanities Gallery, and the Keyes' Gallery for Arts, Humanities, and Sciences. The galleries house changing exhibits year round that explore a wide variety of themes. Throughout the year, the Museum also hosts a variety of lectures, films, workshops, and other educational programs related to its rotating exhibits and Iowa history.
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6 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Iowa City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Davenport & Iowa City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Iowa City BY A USER FROM SWEDEN September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Iowa City BY A USER FROM SWEDEN September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Iowa City BY A USER FROM SWEDEN September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Iowa City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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4.5
  • This building is on the grounds of the University of Iowa. It's easily found by its golden dome, topped with flags. Legislative chambers are authentically furnished. Please take the time to view the f...  more »
  • There aren't enough words allowed here to say everything! I brought my grandparents here decades ago, and it's still a wonderful place to experience. The spiral staircase that turns back on itself is ...  more »
  • The first capital of Iowa is preserved on the University of Iowa campus. Refurbished furniture of the time can be seen in several of the rooms, along with pictures of the past. One gets a good idea of...  more »
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  • Great spot to take visitors. Wish there were more exhibits like this around town to showcase the history of the place!
  • My husband and I just love this historic building. Be sure to check out the Iowa State Supreme Court chambers, some great law was created here.
  • Cool natural history museum with stuffed animals and such. Best is it is free.
  • A beautiful, historic building in the heart of the city. Go now!
  • A great, fun, educational experience!