The Kentucky State Capitol isn’t the first of its kind. In fact, it is the fourth building since Kentucky achieved statehood in 1792. We were excited to add a visit to our growing list of capitols, with Frankfort being the 18th under our belts. A trip to the eastern seaboard allowed us to plan two capitol city visits, with the other being Charleston, West Virginia. A warm September day welcomed our visit to the state where Abraham Lincoln was born. The clock was ticking and we wanted to make the most of this opportunity.
This trip totaled about 2500 miles in all. To break up the lengthy drives, we planned stops at either end of the journey. Charleston had been completed on the way out and Frankfort had been selected for our way home. After a long day of driving, we were excited to spend 24 hours exploring Kentucky’s capitol city. Arriving at the capitol building, we found it shrouded in scaffolding. This didn’t deter us, as we had found the same scenario during a visit to Jefferson City, Missouri. After finding a nearby parking spot, we made our way up the capitol steps.
Kentucky State Capitol Views
As I mentioned before, this is the fourth structure to hold the title of Kentucky State Capitol. The previous capitol building still stands downtown. In front of it is a statue of William Goebel, who served a Governor for four days after being shot on his way to his inauguration. Frankfort had fought long and hard to be home to the capitol. Competition from nearby Lexington and Louisville finally ended in 1904, when a vote was passed to build this structure. By the summer of 1910, the building was ready for dedication.
As we made our way through the Kentucky State Capitol, we were in awe of the grandeur. Stepping into the space below the rotunda, we found ourselves looking up at a statue of Lincoln. Suddenly we realized that the dome was changing colors. This light effect made this unlike any capitol we had seen. I’ll admit that I was mesmerized by the changing hues and watched for quite a while. What drew me away was one of the capitol tour guides asking if we’d like to see the Governor’s office.
There was no way we were going to pass up this opportunity. We followed him upstairs until we came to the office. Being a Saturday, the legislature was not in session. He pointed out the balcony and beckoned us to take a look at the view. The landscape laid out before us, as he pointed out some highlights. Straight across from the capitol is the graveyard that contains Daniel Boone’s grave. We really felt like we were being immersed in Kentucky’s history.
A Timely Visit
Time was not on our side, so we wrapped up our indoor visit. There was still some outdoor views we wanted to take in, before heading to our next stop. One that we had heard of was the huge floral clock on the West Lawn. Built in 1961, it has a face that is 34 feet wide. It takes thousands of plants to cover it and they are changed seasonally. After enjoying more amazing views, we noticed that time was slipping away. We completed our 18th capitol visit and headed off to explore more of Frankfort, Kentucky. How many state capitols have you visited?