Florida Historic Capitol Museum, Tallahassee

4.6
#3 of 11 in Museums in Tallahassee
Tallahassee was chosen as the territorial capital in 1824. The first territorial government met in log cabins. A capitol building was constructed in 1826 but never completely finished. It was torn down in 1839 for the construction of the present structure, which was completed in 1845, just prior to Florida’s entry into the Union as the 27th state. Additions to the Historic Capitol were made several times throughout the years. Architect Frank Millburn, who added the classical style dome, made the first expansion in 1902. The 1923 additions by Henry Klutho included two new wings and a marble interior. Finally large wings for the House and Senate chambers were added to the north and south ends of the building in 1936 and 1947, respectively.

Threatened with demolition in the late 1970s when the new capitol was built, The Historic Capitol was saved through citizens’ action and was restored to its 1902 appearance. Architectural highlights include the elaborate art glass dome, red and white striped awnings, and a representation of the Florida State Seal over the entry columns. The restoration of The Old Capitol (1978—1982) was conducted under the supervision of the Department of General Services in conjunction with the Department of State. This intensive project of historical and archaeological investigation makes Florida’s former capitol one of the most thoroughly documented restoration projects in the nation.
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Florida Historic Capitol Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
340 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Reception to honor Annual Teenage Ambassador Awards, was a perfect venue for this event; numerous exhibits throughout the building of Florida's history, including the Civil Rights era.  more »
  • This place is full of some really interesting florida history. It's worth checking out for sure if you're interested in learning more about Florida and it's capitol city.  more »
  • Buildings from the outside beautiful, small and tasteful. Hidden behind the new building. Very pretty with red white sunscreen and beautiful picture in the pediment. Unfortunately outside the opening hours here, therefore rating only from the outside.
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  • Enjoyed going but not worth it unless it's the weekend because of parking & small streets. Of course on weekends you can't visit the historical items on different floors. The fountain was also off on weekends. Oh well...
  • This museum is for free, but accepts donations. It's a real must-see destination. You can check out the items that are important for Florida's History. It takes 3 hours to finish the visit. There is Florida Historic Capitol Museum that is very close this place. You can go visit there for a little donation as well.
  • The museum is located in the original capitol building which was the centre of Florida’s government from 1845 when the Capitol building was constructed to the 1970s when the new state capitol building ( a high rise monstrosity immediately behind the old capitol building ) was opened. There were plans to demolish this wonderful building but luckily it was saved by public petition. The building has been wonderfully restored to how it was in 1902. At one end of the ground floor there is the governors office, cabinet office and secretarial support office whilst at the other end is the Florida Supreme Court both as they were in 1902. In between the other rooms have been converted into exhibits detailing the history of Florida from the Spanish through the Seminole & Civil War, segregation, political life to the present day . On the top floor the original glass in the dome has been brought back to life and is stunning. Again at one end of the building is where the House sat whilst at the other end is the Senate. Everything has been superbly restored and there are more exhibits in the offices relating to the Senate and House Chambers. A wonderful museum, well worth spending a couple of hours exploring and it is free.
  • Free admission - great 90 second summary of the history from the hosts at the front door. Then you are free to wander and look at the exhibits. They have a worksheet for kids (or adults) to learn things as you explore. It takes an hour to wander the whole thing - probably 2 if you were more serious about reading all the displays.
  • Great Capitol, it has a lot of fascinating historical stories inside. The top floor of the new Capitol building has amazing 360 degree views of Tallahassee.
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