Guided Tours of State Capitol Now Being Offered

Mississippi's state capitol.

Mississippi’s state capitol.

Since its completion in 1903, Mississippi’s State Capitol has drawn attention for its grand architecture. Through the newly formed state capitol docent program, visitors can now enjoy free, guided tours of the building. The tours are offered every Monday through Friday at 9:30 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. No reservations are needed. Guided group tours are also available by request.

“We are delighted to be able to offer these tours of this beautiful building,” said Brenda Davis, curator of the state capitol. “This is the people’s house, and we want to share its story with everyone.”

Mississippi’s state capitol was designed in the Beaux Arts style, with large, grandiose spaces and an abundance of classical detail, stone finishes, and architectural elements. The building is 402 feet long, 225 feet wide at the center, and rises 180 feet at its dome. An eight-foot-tall copper eagle, coated with gold leaf, sits atop the dome and measures fifteen feet from wingtip to wingtip.

The exterior of the capitol is limestone over a base course of Georgia granite. The state capitol’s interior is also designed to impress. When the capitol was being constructed, electric lighting was a novelty of modern technology. Consequently, 4,750 lights were used throughout the building as an architectural element, highlighting and outlining the structure’s other features.

The main rotunda is of Italian marble with trimmings of jet-black marble from New York. Its friezes and columns lead the eye to the majestic and colorful dome. The House of Representative and Senate chambers at the ends of the building are built of marble and scagliola and feature domed ceilings richly decorated with oxidized copper, plaster, and stained glass.

On the tour visitors will learn about the architect who designed the building, the people who oversaw its construction, and its 1979-82 restoration, as well as how the building is used by state government today. For more information about tours of Mississippi’s State Capitol, contact Kathy Broom, visitor services coordinator, at 601-359-3114 or tours@house.ms.gov.

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