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State Capitol

The present Capitol took eight years to complete at a cost of just under $10 million. It was constructed in three stages. The west wing was built in 1924-25; the east wing was constructed in 1926-27; and the rotunda connecting the wings was completed in 1930-32. Governor William G. Conley dedicated the new Capitol on the state's 69th birthday, June 20, 1932.

In 1877 the Legislature let the people vote on the city to be West Virginia's state capital. How would you vote today?
View photos of the various Capitols

Capitol Architect

Cass Gilbert, born in Zanesville, Ohio in 1859, studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1912, Gilbert designed the world's first skyscraper, the Woolworth Building in New York City. His other works include the state capitols of Minnesota and Arkansas, and the U.S. Treasury Building and the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Gilbert died in 1934, just two years after West Virginia's State Capitol was completed.

The Building

The exterior of the classical-styled building is buff Indiana limestone. More than 700 train carloads of limestone and 4,640 tons of steel were used in its construction. The magnificent 293- foot gold dome which tops the structure is five feet higher than the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The entire dome is gilded in 23 ½ karat gold leaf applied to the copper and lead roof in tiny 3 3/8 inch squares.

Two thirds of the interior of the Capitol is marble - White Imperial Danby Vermont, Italian Travertine, and Tennessee. Consisting of 535,000 square feet of floor space, the building has 333 rooms in its main unit and two wings.


WV State Capitol building from across the river

Governor's Mansion

The stately Executive Mansion overlooking the Kanawha River is home to the Governor and First Family. The 30-room Georgian Revival structure was designed by Charleston architect Walter F. Martens and completed in 1925.



WV Governor's Mansion



The first floor state room include the Reception Hall with its splendid dual Georgian staircases; the Living Room, furnished with antiques; the Library, paneled in butternut wood from Randolph County, WV; the State Dining Room, with a 14-foot banquet table that seats 22 guests; and the ballroom, featuring a mantel acquired from an Irish castle.

Mansion foyer

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