5 Things to Know About the Colorado State Capitol Building
The Colorado State Capitol building is one of the state's most recognizable landmarks, but here are five things you probably didn't know about this historic structure.
There are lots of things I love about downtown Denver from the restaurants, tall buildings, entertainment venues, and all the people milling about. But, the one thing that always sticks out to me is the state capitol building. It just looks so historic and majestic, and I'm sure has so many stories to tell, if walls could talk.
Here's five interesting facts you didn't know about Colorado's state capitol building.
The Colorado state capitol building was constructed in the 1890s and was purposely modeled after the United State Capitol building in Washington, D.C. It was built from Colorado white granite and first opened in November of 1894.
The interior walls feature rare Colorado Rose Onyx, also known as Beulah red marble because it came from the town of Beulah, Colorado. In fact, this type of stone was so rare, all of the known reserves of it were used in the construction of the capitol.
There is one point on the west entrance steps that is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.However, there has been some debate about exactly where that point is. Originally, the 15th step was labeled ONE MILE HIGH, but after a remeasurement in 1969 it was changed to the 18th step. In 2003, a third marker was placed after a "more accurate" measurement was taken signifying the 13th step as the one mile marker.
The original dome was made of copper, but was changed to gold in 1908. Between 1908 and 1980 there were three applications of gold leaf. The latest application consists of 65 ounces of .999 pure gold that was mined in Colorado, hammered into gold leaf in Italy, and applied in 2013.
Free tours of the capitol building are offered daily, except weekends and holidays. The tours are limited to 30 people at a time and they do fill up, so they recommend you arrive at least 20 minutes early for your best chance to get on the next tour.