The Washington State Capital offers tours on the hour, seven days a week. We had a wonderful tour guide. She engaged us, welcomed questions and was very informative. We’re glad we took the tour because you and the kids always learn something you never knew.
For example, we learned that this Tiffany Chandelier which hangs from the top of the capital is large enough to fit a mini cooper. It may not look like it is, but it’s huge. To further emphasize its size, look closely for the faces around the outside of the chandelier. Can you see them? They look very small from a distance, but in fact, they are as big as your own face! That’s how big it is! This is the largest Tiffany Chandelier in the world, located right inside the Washington State Capital.
We visited an upscale room created as a dignitary waiting room and sometimes used as a ballroom. Marble and imported velvet curtains surround this elegant room. Our tour guide explained the significance of the mini grand piano sitting in the corner of the room. As only 6 of it’s kind in the world, with 2 only in the US, the Washington State Capital was fortunate to own one. With the piano being recently refurbished, they were told the best way to keep it up and running was for it to be played. She opened an invitation to any of us on the tour to come and play. To our delight, a young Indian girl volunteered her talents and impressed us all as she filled the room with her beautiful playing. It was a very special moment and put a smile on everyone’s face.
We then visited the chambers for the House and Senate. I captured some of the details in the design because it was so beautiful.
One interesting question that was asked by a tour guest is of the dramatic dark discoloration on the outside of the capital. It is covered with a black coating, making it look very distressed. The tour guide explained that when the capital was built in the 1920s, the architects wanted to use sandstone because of its beauty. However, they had not considered the porous nature of sandstone, which was not conducive to the wet, moss and algae prone environment of Washington State. This is the darkness that can be seen on the exterior. For this reason, every seven years the exterior is carefully spray washed in a way that does not damage the sandstone but gets all this gunk off. She mentioned that they are now approaching the 7-year mark for this to be done. I’m sure it’s going to look fantastic when it’s clean!
We ended this great tour with a picture by the fountain. Of course, my oldest has her antics and wants every picture to be something silly.