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The Wyoming State Capitol Building

The Wyoming State Capitol Building. (Wikipedia/Matthew Trump)

The very first Wyoming State Legislature convened in this magnificent structure in November of 1890. It was just months after Wyoming became the 44th state in the Union, when lawmakers gathered at the Wyoming State Capitol Building. And it was the foresight of Territorial Governor, Francis E. Warren, who began the process of creating a Territorial Taj Majal, four years before in 1886. Governor Warren was acting on the authorization of the 9th Territorial Legislature, who mandated the construction. Warren appointed a five-member commission to purchase a site in Cheyenne, and to start taking bids. And this new home of Wyoming government would have to be built at the astronomical cost of no more than 150—thousand dollars.

And what they came-up with for 150,000 dollars is impressive. The Wyoming State Capitol Building is Corinthian in style, the superstructure is of grey sandstone taken from quarries in Rawlins, Wyoming. And then there’s the magnificent dome that crowns the Capitol Building. It does bear a strong resemblance to the United States Capitol Building. The dome of the Wyoming State Capitol Building is covered with 24-carat, and 100% gold leaf, and has been gilded, or re-covered, six times.

The Wyoming State Capitol Building was completed and open for state business in 1890, and the east and west wings were completed the same year. The House and Senate chambers were added in 1917, and the last renovations took place in 1980. The bill for that renovation was 7.2 million dollars, more than 50 times the original cost of the Wyoming State Capitol Building.

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