The Arkansas State Capitol is located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Visitors to the Capitol will enjoy the rich history, artistry, and architectural brilliance that played a key role in shaping Arkansas into the place it is today. The Arkansas State Capitol finished construction in 1915, located on the previous state prison grounds through the use of prison labor.
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The Capitol was designed by Cass Gilbert and George Mann, with a budget of no more than one million dollars. The construction of the Capitol employed two general contractors, three governors, and six Capitol Commissions and ended up costing over two million dollars.
The State Capitol was designed in the neo-classical style of the early twentieth century. The state of Vermont provided the marble floors and walls. Colorado sent the columns, and the grand staircases came from Alabama. The outward limestone was mined near Batesville, Arkansas. The softer limestone of the dome was quarried in Indiana.
The Arkansas State Capitol comprises two hundred and forty-seven feet. The distance from the ground to the top of the gold-leaf covered cupola is two hundred and thirteen feet.
In 1911 the unfinished building was used for the first session of the General Assembly.
Over one hundred years later the building is still the heart of lawmaking and the state government. It is home to six of the seven legal offices and the House and Senate Chambers. The State Capitol is symbol of government as well as the state and its people and is a source pride for Arkansas’s citizens.
The Arkansas State Capitol is home to several exhibits open to the general public.
Guided Tours- Guided tours can be scheduled by calling the Visitor Services Specialist.
A Capitol in Progress- This exhibit can be found in the first level elevator lobby. Visitor can examine rare photos shot at a pivotal time during the building of the Capitol. The photos are credited to photographer, Thomas B Rayburn, and document the state of the building in 1910 as a new architect and new governor seized the reins and guided the project to conclusion.
Building Forever: The Construction Story of Arkansas State Capitol- This exhibit, located on the third floor in the northwest hallway, showcases blueprints, historical photos, newspaper article and cartoons. Visitors get to examine the timeline of the Capitol’s construction history and examine the governors of the twentieth century and the influence they had on national and state events.
Call of Duty: Arkansas at War- This exhibit allows visitors to examine Arkansas’s part in important US conflicts and learn stories about the heroes of the state. Visitors will find this exhibit on floor four, in the east hallway.
Legislative Photo Composites- Visitors will find photos of legislative conferences held at the Capitol since 1911 in the corridors of floors three and four. The photographs are displayed in sequential order with newer photos on the floor three and older ones on four.
Mentors & Models- This exhibit features the lives of civil rights and social justice advocates Daisy and L.C. Bates. It also features the creating of Testament which is a memorial on the grounds, that honors the Little Rock Nine. Visitors will find this exhibit in the north lobby on the first floor.
Standing for Arkansas- Visitors learn the history of the official symbols of Arkansas in this exhibit. It can be found on fourth floor.
Through the Years by the Numbers- This exhibit features displays that show how Arkansas’s industries and people have changed through the years from the state’s days as a territory to today. It highlights a timeline of important event beginning in the 1500s in the state’s history paired with changes to its population since the 1820s. Visitors will find this exhibit on the fourth floor in the southeast corner.
The Arkansas State Capitol offers traveling presentations for the classroom, workshops, and guided tour of the State Capitol. These offerings help both the young and the old learn about the state’s history, how elections are held all over the state, and how important it is to vote.
The Capitol also hosts several Teacher Workshops where those in attendance earn two hours of ADE accredited American History professional development.
The Arkansas State Capitol hosts several temporary exhibits during the year.
Ghost Sign of Arkansas- This exhibit features photos taken by Jeff Holder and Cynthia Haas from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program of fading wall signs that were painted and then obscured or covered over. The signs lasted much longer than the products they advertised.
Visitors can find the State Capitol Gift Shop on the first floor of the building. It offers products made exclusively in Arkansas.
500 Woodlane Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-682-1010