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Kansas State Capitol
Unfortunately, one initial problem Haskell had was finding appropriately hard limestone. The original cornerstone and foundations did not harden sufficient, and a harsh winter in 1867 led to the total destruction of the cornerstone and foundation. Thankfully harder limestone from Geary County was found to replace the original, and all future limestone used was a harder variety that could stand up against the winters.
Even while construction took nearly forty years to complete, the building was in use by lawmakers and the governor for most of that time. Starting in 1869, state offices were moved into the unfinished east wing, and the legislature held its first sessions in the new capitol in 1870. The east wing was finished in 1873 (with three years of lawmakers enduring the sounds of construction while they worked). After that, construction moved to the west wing, which was completed in 1881. The north and south ends, as well as the dome and entire capitol, were finally completed in 1903, at a total staggering cost of $3,200,588.92.
The statue of the Kaw warrior, which can be seen on top of the dome today, was not added until 2002. It took over a century of debate to determine what statue ought to stand on top of the dome and to appropriate the funds for the statue. The original 1889 plan of placing a bronze sculpture of the Roman goddess Ceres on top changed in 1984, when the budget for finally providing for a statute, stipulated that the statue could not be a god or goddess. Finally, in the late 1980s, after a fierce competition, the Kansa warrior design was chosen to commemorate Kansas' Native American heritage and was given the name "Ad Astra," which comes from the state motto: "Ad astra per aspera" or ""to the stars through difficulties."
Sources"Kansas State Capitol." Kansas Historical Society. Accessed February 24, 2016. http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/kansas-state-capitol/12121.
"Kansas State Capitol - Ad Astra." Kansas Historical Society. Accessed February 24, 2016. http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/kansas-state-capitol-ad-astra/11742.
Topeka, KS 66615
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