Missouri State Capitol Jefferson City

Bonds Are Issued to Build Our State Capitol: March 24, 1911

Legislation was signed and bond issues awarded for the construction of our present Capitol Building on this date in 1911, after a fire destroyed the previous building.

The current building is the third capitol to stand in Jefferson City and the sixth to serve as the government’s headquarters since Missouri became a state. The first capitol in Jefferson City was built in the 1820s, and the second was completed in 1837 but was destroyed by fire in 1911. This disaster prompted the construction of the present-day Capitol, which was completed in 1917.

The architectural design of the Missouri State Capitol is a blend of the Classical Revival and Beaux-Arts styles, reflecting the grandeur and formality associated with government buildings of the early 20th century. The building was designed by the New York architectural firm of Tracy and Swartwout, who sought to create a structure that symbolized the dignity and stability of the state government.

The Capitol is constructed primarily of limestone, quarried from near Carthage, giving the building a strong connection to our state’s natural resources. The exterior is characterized by its massive columns, grand staircases, and imposing dome, which is topped with a bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, symbolizing Missouri’s agricultural heritage.

The interior of the Capitol is equally impressive, with marble floors, ornate plasterwork, and a variety of artistic features that highlight the state’s history and culture. One of the most notable features is the series of murals painted by Thomas Hart Benton in the House Lounge, which depict scenes from Missouri’s history and showcase the state’s diverse landscapes and industries.

Throughout the Capitol, there are numerous symbols and motifs that reflect Missouri’s regional identity. For example, the state seal is prominently displayed in various locations, and the House and Senate chambers are adorned with motifs representing the state’s agricultural and natural resources. The building also features sculptures and friezes that depict important figures and events in Missouri’s history, further reinforcing the Capitol’s role as a symbol of the state’s heritage and governance.