The imposing structure which serves as the State Capitol of Mississippi--still called by many the "New" Capitol--was completed in 1903 at a cost of $1,093,641. It was erected on what had been the site of the state penitentiary to replace the old capitol, which had become inadequate for a growing state government.
The Mississippi State Capitol, designed by renowned architect Theodore C. Link of St. Louis, is an outstanding example of the Beaux Arts Classicism style of architecture. The exterior walls of the capitol are of Bedford limestone and the base course is Georgia granite. The main vestibule is built entirely of Blue Vermont marble on a base of Black Belgian. A massive dome elaborately decorated in pastels and gold rises on four piers from the second floor to a height of 180 feet above ground level. The eagle atop the dome is made of copper, coated with gold leaf. It spreads 15 feet from one wingtip to the other and stands eight feet high.
The New Capitol was renovated and restored from 1979 to its re-dedication June 3, 1983. The total cost of the project was approximately $18,000,000. The restored capitol reflects careful attention to detail. In the Governor's Office, ceiling moldings, covered for nearly thirty years by a dropped ceiling, were repaired and duplicated; and the fireplace, with its intricately molded mantle, was reconstructed using early photographs. Elsewhere, broken marble was carefully patched and "marbled" to match the original. Eight thousand yards of carpet were woven in Greenville in patterns inspired by the original tile patterns of the House and Senate floors. Interior doorways and windows, covered with plaster years ago, were reopened and their woodwork restored.
Traditionally, on the first day of each legislative session, every light in the capitol burns. At this time, the capitol may be viewed with four thousand seven hundred clear bulbs rather than the frosted variety which had gradually replaced them.
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: 400 High Street, Jackson, Mississippi
Admission is free.
Guided tours available by appointment: call (601) 359-3114 for information.