The Capitol Building - Sacramento
A visit to the Sacramento area isn’t complete without a stop
at the Capitol Building. The past, present and future of California
interact with equal force. The building serves as both a museum
and the state’s working seat of government. The grandeur of this
exquisite building is surpassed by the grounds surrounding it.
Capitol Park encompasses 40 acres of stunning gardens, groves
and memorials. You could spend all day exploring the grounds
before even setting foot into the building itself. The various
memorials and groves honor Native Americans, Hispanics, fire
fighters, California’s veterans, pioneers, and the people who
shaped this great state. Symbolic flowers such as the Camellia
and the rose are prominently featured in their own gardens.
The 1863 California Governor, Governor Leland, is responsible
for the grand gardens surrounding the Capitol Building. In his
1863 speech, he envisioned grounds surrounding the building as
having a “beauty and luxuriousness no other capitol in the
country could boast”. Over the years, his vision came true and
today you can walk through the landscape of Governor Leland’s
The building itself is billed as the “People’s Building”. Grand, yet
accessible, the Capitol Building reflects a spirit of vision and is a
magnificent piece of architecture. Within its stately walls are the
offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the Senate and the
Assembly. The Capitol Building welcomes the public for tours
and to see government in action. Over three quarters of a million
visitors tour the Capitol Building each year.
The building is designed to accommodate the public with spaces
for citizen events such as rallies, concerts, ceremonies, public
viewing of the legislature in action, and voicing concerns. It is an
architectural marvel and a sight to behold. A remodel in the late
1970’s restored the chambers from an earlier “modernization”
of florescent lights and drab white walls back to the original
splendor of 1880’s complete with vibrant colors, bronze and
crystal wall sconces, plaster pendants and elaborate carpets.
Greek Revival and Roman-Corinthian architectural styles blend
together to form this stunning building. The architecture
symbolizes democracy, beauty and simplicity and defines this
building as a place where government business is conducted.
The Capitol’s dome bears a striking resemblance to the one
crowning our nation’s Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The
dome shares the same construction technique, “double dome”
with an inner brick dome and an outer, tall cast iron dome. It is
accented with similar neo-classic design elements as the one in
Washington. You’ll see pilasters, columns, colonnade windows
and a cupola with a statue on top of the dome.
Art work including paintings and murals adorn the walls of the
Capitol Building and tell a story of the history of this grand state.
The Capitol contains three collections of art, the Permanent
Collection, the Loan Collection and the Biennial Senate
Contemporary Art Collection.
When you view the Permanent and Loan Collections you’ll see a
common theme, distinctive Californian images filled with California
scenery and people. The Permanent Collection contains over 50
paintings which portray the sights and scenes of California. The
Loan Collections contains 100 additional paintings that have been
temporarily loaned to the Capitol Building for display.
The Biennial Senate Contemporary Art Collection allows each Senator
to choose a contemporary artist that represents his or her district to
display a painting during the two year term. Two large murals interpret
California’s rich history. Viewing these large scale paintings gives you a
real sense of the various pieces of history that shaped California. To
round out the art found at the Capitol, you’ll find portraits of all of
California’s governors displayed throughout the West Wing.
Whether you want to see the California government in action, walk
through this glorious building or spend time smelling the roses, the
Capitol Building in Sacramento is a definite spot to spend some time
while visiting Sacramento, California. Visit the California Capitol
Building Museum website for more information and public touring schedule.
Capitol Building Video
Capitol Building Museum
10th Street between L and N Streets
Open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving,
Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Museum hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Tours hourly: 9:00 am to 4 pm. No charge.
Times subject to change.
Downloadable Brochure & Map
Capitol Building Picture Gallery