Georgia State Capitol

Edbrooke and Burnham

Atlanta became the capitol city in 1879. After a competition was initiated, the design of the Chicago firm of Edbrooke and Burnham was selected. Like many capitols, it is Renaissance in architectural style. On the Washington Street side (the main entrance), the central block has a four-story portico. The portico has Corinthian columns set on heavy piers and is pedimented. The base is rusticated and windows are in decorative, pedimented aedicules. The exterior of the building is of Indiana limestone but Georgia marble is used in the lavish interior. See this site for additional information.
When it was built, the Capitol building was the tallest in Atlanta (about 272 feet high). The structure is domed, which for many Americans signifies "democracy" indicated by the fact that about 80% of the state capitols have domes. The Georgia capitol dome is about 75 feet in diameter.

The gold-gilded dome and the mysterious statue

Like the domes of a number of state capitol buildings, Georgia's is gilded (or regilded after some of the gold leaf had dissipated). The statue atop the cupola is thought to be one originally made for Ohio's state capitol, although the evidence is ambiguous. Her name is equally a mystery, although she is popularly called the Goddess of Liberty or Miss Freedom. She is made of copper and stands about 15-20 feet, depending on how she is measured. She holds a sword and torch, the latter of which is lighted at night.

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© 2003 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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