Monday, May 23, 2022

Eighth Most Beautiful State Capitol Building: Montgomery, Alabama

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 494 Ole Miss students from Alabama (2.49 percent).


Picture from Library of Congress as seen in Wikipedia.
Picture from Library of Congress as seen in Wikipedia.

There is probably not a state Capitol in the nation that has a résumé such as this one. Included on the National Register of Historic Places, Montgomery served as the First Confederate Capital. Located on Capitol Hill, the site was originally known as “Goat Hill” as it was a pasture prior to becoming the most famous building in the South during the Civil War era. On December 19, 1960 it was declared a national historic landmark.

Alabama has had five political capitals throughout its history including St. Stephens (1817); Huntsville (1819); Cahaba (1820); Tuscaloosa (1826); and finally Montgomery (1846). The current state Capitol is the fourth purpose-built Capitol building. On February 4, 1861, in a meeting in the Senate Chamber, the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States was drawn up by the Montgomery Convention.

Montgomery served as the first Confederate Capital until May 22, 1861 at which time it was relocated to Richmond, VA. On February 18, 1861 Jefferson Davis stood on the marble floor of the front portico of the Montgomery Capitol to take his oath of office as the only President of the Confederate States of America. The building has been a center of the civil rights issue even in the 1960s. On April 25, 1963, then Governor George Wallace raised the Confederate Battle Flag over the Capitol dome, the date of his meeting with U.S. Attorney General to discuss desegregation at the University of Alabama, as a symbol of defiance to the federal government. The flag remained for some thirty years.

The architecture of the state Capitol is Greek Revival with some Beaux-Arts influences. The three story structure features a 350 foot front facade. The current Capitol was constructed during the two year period of 1850-51. Also featured is a ring of Corinthian columns topped by a twelve sided glazed lantern. The core of the building features bays delineated by Doric pilasters and a monumental three-story hexastyle portico utilizing the Composite order.

(Special credit and recognition to Wikipedia for providing 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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