Michigan State Capitol: Among the Most Colorful State Capitols in the Nation, the Michigan State Capitol (the Interior of the Rotunda) Is a National Historic Landmark That All Michiganians Should Visit
VanAcker, Matt, Michigan History Magazine
Step back into the Victorian era with a visit to Michigan's award-winning Capitol building. The Renaissance Revival building was designed by Elijah E. Myers and its construction helped to establish his career as one of America's foremost architects. It was his first statehouse, but he later designed capitols for Texas and Colorado as well as public buildings in almost every state. Construction of the Capitol took six years (1872-1878) and it was dedicated to the people of the state of Michigan in 1879 at a cost of 1.5 million dollars.
From 1989 to 1992, the Capitol underwent a thorough restoration designed to return it to its former beauty and ensure that it continues to serve as the seat of Michigan state government. The restoration was designed to preserve an irreplaceable piece of Michigan history, art and architecture, while preparing it for another 100 years of service. The decorative painting of the Capitol's walls and ceilings mark it as one of the best examples of Victorian art in the United States today. Especially noteworthy is the pine woodwork, which was skillfully hand-painted to resemble walnut or marble. Stenciled and freehand designs, marbling, wood-graining, gilding, striping, glazing and metallic paints embellish nine acres of decoratively painted surfaces. Covered over through the years by as many as eighteen layers of over-paint, all of this artwork has been carefully restored.
In 1992, the Capitol was awarded a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation--the highest such award in the country--recognizing both the challenge and the success of its magnificent restoration. The Capitol has also been designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, a distinction granted only to the most historically important and significant national sites. …