Fifty State Capitols, The Architecture of Representative Govt

 The formality, timelessness, and public grandeur of representative government are on display at every one of America’s fifty state capitols. Fifty State Capitols describes the majesty and stateliness of each state capitol’s exterior form and selected interior detail.

State governments, headquartered in their iconic capitol buildings, have been governing continuously—and largely democratically, peacefully, and openly—for more than two centuries, a record difficult to match in the history of civilization. Fifty State Capitols shows how the architecture of state capitols contributes to the success of representative government.

Elements common to the ideal American state capitol are a prominent site with manicured grounds; legislative chambers in opposing wings; public galleries with views of each legislative chamber; a temple-like entrance; and a central dome or tower covering a majestic central space known as the rotunda. The architects who designed the buildings—including Thomas Jefferson, Charles Bulfinch, Elijah Myers, and Cass Gilbert—looked for forms and features symbolic of democracy, finding them most often in ancient Greece and Rome, in the columns, pediments, and porticos of the Parthenon in Athens, the Pantheon in Rome, the Maison Carrée in southern France.

Jim Stembridge visited each of America’s state capitols to document the elements that Jefferson, Bulfinch, Meyers, Gilbert, and other designers put into their works. The result is this collection of exterior views, interior photographs, and pithy narratives featuring every one of the Fifty State Capitols.

ISBN 

9780983029205

128 pp, 12"x 9", softbound

276 color photographs, glossary, index, references

Retail price: $27.95

Local Release: April 6, 2011

Publication Date: June 6, 2011

Fifty State Capitols, The Architecture of Representative Govt
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  • Item #: ISBN 9780983029205
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