Images of America – Sacramento’s Capitol Park

Interior of California Capitol

Images of America; Sacramento's Capitol Park Book Cover

In my previous "Last post about Sacramento" I completely forgot to mention two books that I picked up at Beer's books while I was in town. So it turns out that I still have two more things to say about Sacramento.

The Images of America series can be found in museum gift shops across the country. It seems that they have a book full of historic photographs for nearly any topic that you can think of. So far, throughout my travels I picked up a total of 5 of these books. The main reason so far (especially in Salt Lake City) was my inability to find anything else to read.

In my more recent trips to Austin, Honolulu and Boston, I picked up over a dozen books and skipped out on the Images of America series for these places. Still, I wanted to take a moment to discuss "Sacramento's Capitol Park" because hidden beneath all of the photographs in the captions is a very interesting story about not only the construction of the Capitol itself but also the history of how Sacramento became the capital in the first place.

In the early days of California's history the capital moved several times. The first constitutional convention was held in Monterey (which was never a capital), from 1849 - 1851 the capital was located in San Jose, then it moved to Vallejo for two years, and finally made its way to Sacramento. Fires and floods caused the state legislature to move a handful of times until the magnificent Capitol building was finally built.

The construction of the Capitol was a long and difficult process. In fact, the original lead architect had a mental breakdown due to the stress of the job. Once it was opened many government agencies such as the library and treasury called the Capitol their home. Due to explosive growth of California over the next few decades several additional annex buildings were built.

Over the last 150 years the capitol has undergone some significant changes. In the 1970s there were even plans to replace the Capitol completely and instead have two skyscrapers in its place. I am glad that the classic architecture was preserved. The Capitol continues to serve as an iconic piece of architecture and gives a great sense of pride to Californians.


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