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Discovering the Capitol’s Splendor

The dome of Idaho’s State Capitol rises 208 feet into the Boise skyline, a classical architectural form prominent among the city’s modern multi-story buildings and the landscape’s rolling foothills. The Renaissance Revival Capitol is Idaho’s most significant historic structure and a building that reflects the state’s political, social, and economic history.

Over 100 years since conception, the Capitol continues to function as the seat of Idaho’s state government, currently housing the executive and legislative branches and numerous state offices, which occupy much of the approximately 111,600 square feet of usable space.

The Capitol and its surrounding grounds occupy two blocks of the urban grid, providing grounds proportional to the building’s roughly 328-foot north and south facades and its depth of approximately 170 feet established by the east/west axis.

The south facade offers the principal entrance, at the culmination of a vehicular approach to the building that cuts centrally through the city as part of a grand procession leading to the Capitol. The siting of the building enhances its authoritative scale and strong classical design.

Although the use of transitional architectural form is drawn from various historic epochs, the materials used in realizing the design draw upon local resources. Composed of locally quarried stone, the sandstone exterior resonates the dusty light auburn hues of Boise’s surrounding foothills, adapting the Capitol’s civic symbolism to serve the people and land of Idaho.

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