My First Tour Michigan's State Capital in Lansing
We’ve lived in Lansing for a long time and I had been to the Capital Building only once before, for Silver Bells in the City and the Christmas Tree lighting. I’ve always thought the Capital was a beautiful building, but I never took the time to go on a tour of it, So I decided it was time.
The Capital Building in Lansing has tours almost every week, but they are packed; it took us almost a year to get our tour scheduled. But it was well worth it! When you step inside the building there is amazing artwork almost everywhere. The attention to detail is stunning, and ornate. Even the door hinges have the Michigan State Seal on them. You could spend hours trying to see every small detail, and you still would miss something.
I was most impressed with the rotunda and it’s glass floor. Our Capital was on of the first in the states to have a dome like the Federal Capital Building in Washington, D.C. and ours is gorgeous! The floor tiles are all glass, and arranges to have the appearance of a bowl when looking at the from above. It was stunning.
The Building has over two hundred rooms, large ones and some small enough to fit only a person and a desk. There are some many rooms in this building because this is where all state government was ran for a long time. Now our State Government is too big for one building.
Some interesting facts about our State Capital
Lansing wasn’t the First choice! The first state capital was in Detroit, but as the state grew the people in the Western parts of the state lobbied to get a more central location for government. Eventually everyone decided on Lansing, because it is right in the middle of Michigan.
The Capital Building we are so familiar with in Lansing, is actually the third incarnation. One was built in Detroit when it was our Capital, the building was turned into a school after the government moved to Lansing; unfortunately the this building burnt down (which is a shame, I would have loved to see it).The Second was a Wooden Structure which was built quickly to house Government, I’m not sure if it was meant to be temporary or not; but it didn’t last long. Our Modern Day Capital Building is the third.
One of my favorite things I learned is that Michigan started functioning as a state before the U.S. government authorized it, Almost 2 years before ! Once of the stipulations for become a state was we had to give up Toledo and it’s port in exchange for the Upper Peninsula. We actually were going to War with Ohio over this! Eventually we caved and became a state on January 26th, 1837.
The Statue everyone sees and has no idea who it is, that is Austin Blair. He was our Governor during the Civil War.
When you have a chance, definitely check out our Capital Building. It is an amazing experience! You might even be able to watch our government in action! I was a little disappointed in myself for taking so long to actually see it.