Dec 7 - Atlanta and the Georgia State Capitol

Decided to wait a while this morning and let the rush-hour traffic in the Atlanta area moderate a bit. My experience is that it never abates completely. For a while (and on the recommendation of some good friends) I considered parking out near the airport and catching MARTA, the public transit train system, in order to avoid parking hassles downtown. But after some research I wasn't confident this option was much better as the stations were some distance from our route. I just decided to tough it out.

The drive in went amazingly well. We'd mapped the route out in detail and encountered no real slow-downs at all. Exiting I-75 when we saw the golden dome of the Capitol, it was only a matter of a few blocks to a parking lot just a block from our target. While the parking was easy... it was expensive.

The Capitol was constructed after the Civil War between 1883 and 1889. The budget was $1 million. If you can believe it... prudent spending brought the completed building in UNDER budget and the Capitol Commission actually returned about $100 to the treasury. Seems they could have had a party or something with that hundred bucks and still be congratulated for coming in right on budget.

It's a big, grand old building. Four floors and just a few feet shorter in height and length than the US Capitol in Washington DC. Much of the interior is done in mostly Georgia building materials, mostly marble and wood, but the exterior is Indiana limestone... an effort to keep building costs under control.

Atop the gold leaf gilded dome is a statue of Miss Freedom. Although she looks petite and trim, she's 26 feet tall and weights 1600 lbs. The torch in her uplifted right hand is lit at night.

We did the guided tour, learned about some of the many portraits of key figures in Georgia history (including Confederate leaders) and most of it's previous governors, and stood in both the Senate and House Chambers. The 4th floor houses the Capitol Museum, a collection of artifacts and exhibits from Georgia history. We also visited the Governor's Office suite. Unfortunately, the new Governor, Nathan Deal, was out that day... someone said perhaps he was out making deals. But we did talk with his secretary who gave us a short private tour of his office as well as a bag of Georgia peanuts. How can you beat that?

This was our 27th State Capitol. I gotta tell you... they're all starting to look alike. Except for Florida... which is in a class by itself.  As always... more photos from our day can be viewed in our online albums.

We did spend more time downtown after our almost three hour Capitol visit. But that will be the subject of another post.

Not sure why there was a newspaper slot on the door to the mensroom...?
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