Article Authored by Jim Stembridge
American state capitols have evolved only moderately in the more than 200 years since their early beginnings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Typically, state capitols were designed, from the earliest, to have multi-storied wings housing the legislature’s two chambers, with galleries for viewing by the public, on two sides of a central rotunda opening high into a dome. Often, the governor’s ceremonial office also opens onto the rotunda. In 12 states, the supreme court also meets in the capitols.
Ten states have adapted to this “ideal” in particularly atypical ways.