Colorado State Capitol
All that Glitters is Sometimes Gold! The Colorado State Capitol building was built in the 1890’s and in 1908, they used 200 ounces of glistening 24 karat gold leaf to plate it dome. This was done to commemorate Colorado’s Gold Rush and the brave men and women who made Colorado great. Since then, the capitol’s dome has had three reapplications – the newest was in 1980. It took four men six months to add its newest shine.
Driving by the capitol at 200 E. Colfax Avenue, you may also notice it looks familiar. The state capitol was built in a Neoclassical style to resemble our nation’s capitol in Washington D.C. You may even notice that the surrounding streets include the famous street names like Pennsylvania Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. They were built with Washington D.C. in mind.
The Colorado State capitol offers proof that Denver is the “Mile High City”. On the western entrance’s 15th step, you will see the inscription “One Mile Above Sea Level.” But this is not the true one-mile marker. In 2003, college students from the Metropolitan State College of Denver re-measured the height and determined that the official marker belongs on the 13th step.
The Capitol houses both chambers of the legislature – the House of Representatives and Senate – and three executive offices – Governor, Lt. Governor, and Treasurer. Opened in 1894, the Capitol is primarily built of beautiful local materials and is one of the most visited buildings in Colorado.
The Colorado State Capitol Building is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The building is closed on weekends and on state holiday.
Historical tours begin on the first floor and consist of early Colorado history, Capitol construction, several stained glass windows, Women's Gold Tapestry, Presidential portraits, and a stop outside the Senate and House of Representatives chambers.
Tours of the Dome Tour and Mr. Browns Attic Walk are also offered. The number of people per tour is limited so reservations are suggested. The dome walk is a 99-step climb to the interior observation area with a 360-degree panoramic view of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Brown's Attic is an exhibit area located between the third floor and the dome. It is devoted to Colorado's early history, capitol construction, legislative process and a children's interactive space. The Dome walks happen every hour between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and usually require a reservation. This tour is also free of charge.
Reservations are required for groups of ten or more visitors. For reservations or other questions, call the tour desk at 303-866-2604 or visit www.colorado.gov/capitoltour.