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Idaho State Capitol


In 1905, the Idaho legislature passed the bill authorizing construction of the Capitol building. The dome and central parts of the Capitol were built first, from 1905-1912. The wings (House/Senate chambers) were constructed during 1919 and 1920. The original cost to construct the Capitol was $2.1 million. Replacement costs today would be over $100 million, with many materials considered irreplaceable.

From the first floor to the eagle atop the dome, the Idaho Capitol building rises 208 feet; the floor area of the building when completed was 201,720 square feet. There are over 50,000 square feet of artistically carved marble in the building. The eagle atop the dome stands 5 feet 7 inches, and is made of copper with bronze plating.


For almost two decades, Idaho's territorial government was housed in various private buildings around downtown Boise. After failed efforts to get the federal government to fund a capitol building, the territorial legislature finally agreed in 1885 to appropriate $80,000 for a territorial capitol. 

The red-brick structure, located on the block between Jefferson and State and Sixth and Seventh streets, served not only the last four years of territorial government(1886-1890) but the first twenty-two years of statehood. In 1905, as the state's population mushroomed with the advent of federally funded irrigation projects, a Capitol Building Commission was authorized. In addition to receiving detailed instructions from the Legislature on where and how to build the new Capitol building, the commission was expected also to build a new, separate structure to provide heat and electricity. Nothing was said about indoor plumbing, though the territorial capitol was served by an outhouse.

All was to be paid for from the sale of public lands designated for this purpose in the statehood admission act, plus the $66,003.35 then in the Public Building Endowment Fund, for a total of $350,000. Despite the provisions of the 1905 law, the final cost was $2,098,455.05 for the structure and $130,833.10 for interior furnishings.


700 West Jefferson Street
Boise, ID 83720
During Legislative Sessions: Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Saturday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. When the Legislature is not in session: Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Political and Diplomatic History
This location was created on 2014-05-18 by Clio Admin .

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