The Utah state capitol building is a majestic structure inside and out and is worth a quick visit to check it out. Sharing the domed architecture typical of most state capitol buildings, my kids couldn't wait to see how it was painted from the inside. Making our way up the steps we were surprised by the absence of metal detectors and security guards that we've found at just about every statehouse we've ever visited.
Inside the dome is painted like a gorgeous clouded sky with a flock of seagulls flying across (the California Seagull is the Utah state bird). The inside of the dome is then surrounded by beautifully painted cyclorama or mural that completes a full circle. Below that, in the corners of the four archways or "pendantives" there are four paintings of pivotal moments in Utah's history. The paintings are colored so beautifully and reminded me of the paintings of Maxfield Parrish. Since the building was originally built between 1912 and 1914, that would make sense as that style was typical of the time period.
Make sure as you mozie through that you take a peek into the state senate chambers and or the house of representatives up the marble steps. It's definitely worth a look! We didn't find a lot of the "artifacts' that we sometimes find but there were four beautiful sculptures in the rotunda that caught our attention. The four statues, each approximately 11 feet tall are known collectively as "The Great Utahs" and they represent Science and Technology, Land and Community, Immigration and Settlement, along with the Arts and Education.
As we were leaving out the building and down the front steps, I noticed a bronze sculpture of a beehive. It was the same beehive I'd seen on the highway markers (initially I wasn't sure if it was a beehive or an igloo). What a weird symbol to put on road signs! Luckily there was a plaque under the sculpture and after reading it it all made sense. Utah, is known as the "beehive" state because of the industrious nature of it's people (take a look at the Mormon Temple and it will all make sense!). The sculpture also marks the location of a time capsule that was buried in 1976..... I wonder when they'll open it and what they'll find.