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Ninth Most Beautiful State Capitol Building: Des Moines, Iowa

Fall 2015-16 UM Enrollment for U.S. by U.S. State
Fall 2015-16 UM Enrollment for U.S. by U.S. State

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s no secret that the University of Mississippi has a diverse population of students from across the United States and around the world. In fact, there are students from every state in the nation, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico comprising the total of 20,827 (U.S. students) on the Oxford and regional campuses including UMMC, according to University of Mississippi Institutional Research. Mississippi holds the largest share (58.11 percent), but the remaining states share the other almost 42 percent. There are eight Ole Miss students from Iowa (0.4 percent).

Capitol photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Capitol photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Talk about a beautiful site on a hill spanning 9.5 acres! To see it, all one has to do is visit the city of Des Moines, Iowa. The State Capitol houses both the Governor’s Office, Legislature and a chamber for the Iowa Supreme Court. The building was constructed between 1871 and 1886 and is the only five-domed capitol building in the United States. Chosen to rest upon a hill top, the Iowa capitol building offers a panoramic view of the city’s downtown and until 1924 was Des Moines’ tallest building. The property showcases numerous monuments and memorials including the famous Lincoln and Tad statue.

The capitol was moved from Iowa City shortly after Iowa achieved statehood and the new capitol building was constructed for $1.5M. The cornerstone was laid November 23, 1871. The building is rectangular in form and is traditional in the pattern of 19th century planning with great windows and high ceilings. It represents a modified and refined Renaissance style.

courtesy of https://www.legis.iowa.gov

The central towering dome consists of iron and brick and is covered with 23 carat gold! The dome is surmounted by a lookout lantern that may be reached by long and winding stairs as it terminates in a finial that is 275 feet above the ground floor. Iowa stone is the foundation for the many porticoes of the building. The limestone utilized in the construction came from five states (Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Illinois). The superstructure, or main part of the building, is of bluff colored sandstone originating from quarries along the Mississippi River in Missouri.

If the exterior of the Iowa state capitol building is not picturesque enough for the beholder, just look what waits inside. In the south hall across from the Governor’s Office is a collection of porcelain dolls representing the 41 first Iowa ladies in miniature replicas of their inaugural gowns. So there you have it….the ninth most beautiful state capitol building…located in Des Moines, Iowa.

(Special recognition to Wikipedia for providing all of the historical references.)

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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